Canadian assisted suicide/euthanasia bill lacks protection of conscience provision

Member of Parliament Steven Fletcher has introduced Bill C581 in the Canadian House of Commons, a private member’s bill to legalize physician assisted suicide and euthanasia.  He has also introduced Bill C582 to establish a Canadian Commission on Physician Assisted Death, a body that would “produce public information on physician-assisted death and to support law and policy reform with respect to physician-assisted death.”  Bill C581 does not include a protection of conscience clause for physicians or health care workers who refuse to participate in euthanasia or assisted suicide for reasons of conscience.  Due to Canadian rules of parliamentary procedure and unwillingness of the governing party to revisit the issues, it is highly unlikely that the bills will come to a vote.

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