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Protection of Conscience Project

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Service, not Servitude
Proposed Protection of Conscience Laws
Canada
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House of Commons

Bill C-537 (2008)

Maurice Vellacott, M.P.

Introduction
Bill C-537, introduced in April, 2008 by M.P. Maurice Vellacott, replicates a number of bills he had proposed earlier, beginning in 1998. [Administrator]

2nd Session, 39th Parliament
56-57 Elizabeth II, 2007-2008

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (protection of conscience rights in the health care profession)

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

1. The Criminal Code is amended by adding the following after section 425.1:

425.2 (1) The definitions in this subsection apply in this section.

"educator" means a college, university or other post-secondary institution.

"health care practitioner" means any person who may lawfully provide services to others

(a) as a physician, surgeon, dentist, nurse or other skilled health care provider;

(b) as a person engaged in the provision of medical, dental, hospital, clinical, nursing or other health care services, under the direction of a skilled health care provider or a clinic, hospital, accrediting body or government ministry; or

(c) as a teacher, professor, instructor or other person providing teaching services in any field of health care.

"human life" means the human organism at any stage of development, beginning at fertilization or creation.

"professional association" means any professional accreditation body, other than a university or college, and includes any association of health care practitioners and any trade union of health care practitioners.

"tenet" means a religious doctrine that human life is inviolable or an edict of a religion that requires that human life not be deliberately ended or that human life not be subjected to any increased risk of death when the subjection to increased risk is avoidable.

(2) Every one is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, being an employer or the agent of an employer,

(a) refuses to employ a health care practitioner,

(b) refuses to advance or promote a qualified health care practitioner, or

(c) dismisses, or threatens to dismiss, a health care practitioner from employment,because the health care practitioner is, or is believed to be, unwilling to take part, directly or in an advisory capacity, in any medical procedure that offends a tenet of the practitioner's religion, or the belief of the practitioner that human life is inviolable.

(3) Every one is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, being an educator or the agent of an educator in any field of health care in Canada,

(a) refuses to admit any person to courses in a field of health care, or

(b) refuses to grant accreditation in a field of health care to any person,

because the person is, or is believed to be, unwilling to take part, directly or in an advisory capacity, in any medical procedure that offends a tenet of the person's religion, or the belief of the person that human life is inviolable.

(4) Every one is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction who, being an officer of a professional association of health care practitioners, or the agent of any such officer,

(a) refuses to admit a person to membership in the professional association,

(b) refuses to advance or promote the standing of a person as a member of the professional association, or

(c) excludes a person from, or threatens to exclude a person from, the professional association,

because the person is, or is believed to be, unwilling to take part, directly or in an advisory capacity, in any medical procedure that offends a tenet in the person's religion, or the belief of the person that human life is inviolable.

2. This Act comes into force 90 days after the day it is assented to.

 

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