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Opinion

Will Canada protect the conscience rights of doctors who refuse to kill through euthanasia?

Alex Schadenberg Alex Schadenberg Follow Alex

February 7, 2019 (Euthanasia Prevention Coalition) — On October 31 I wrote that Canadian MP, David Anderson, sponsored a bill to uphold conscience rights of health care professionals introduced Bill C-418 to protect conscience rights for healthcare professionals in Canada. 

Bill C-418 will be debated by parliament in the near future.

Bill C-418, an act to amend the criminal code (medical assistance in dying) makes it an offence to intimidate a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying. The bill also makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that he refuses to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying.

Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) became legal across Canada in June 2016. This bill addresses a legislative gap in protecting the right to refuse participation in MAiD, which is already guaranteed in the Criminal Code, but which lacks clarity for effective enforcement.

Recently Jeff Blackmer, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) VP of International Health, in an article designed to hoodwink British physicians into supporting neutrality on assisted suicide, conflated the CMA involvement in protecting conscience rights for Canadian physicians.

Medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and other health care professionals are being pressured to participate in euthanasia and assisted suicide (MAiD) against their strongly held beliefs.

In November, 2017 the Manitoba Legislature unanimously passed Bill 34: The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act

Contact your member of parliament to urge him to support Bill C-418.

Published with permission from the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition.

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