The Globe and Mail
Andrea Woo, Wendy Stueck
B.C. hospice society that refuses to provide medical assistance in dying at its facility in violation of local rules has been given until Thursday to submit plans for compliance.
Health Minister Adrian Dix said the Delta Hospice Society, which operates the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner, may face penalties if it fails to do so.
“We’ve asked them … to provide their plan to fulfill their contract with the Fraser Health Authority and it is our expectation that they will,” Mr. Dix said on Wednesday. “Should they not want to fulfill their contract with Fraser Health, there may well be consequences of that.” . . . [Full text]
Irene Thomas is the only non-denominational hospice within Fraser Health that doesn’t allow assisted dying.
The decision by a Ladner hospice to ban medical assistance in dying in its facility is at odds with Fraser Health policy.
On Monday, the newly appointed hospice society president, Angelina Ireland, told staff and volunteers at its Irene Thomas Hospice that the board had repealed a recent decision by the old board to allow MAiD at the facility. . . [Full text]
Fifty Covenant Health physicians write open letter against Bill 207
A private member’s bill to protect the conscience rights of health professionals in Alberta is still fighting for survival.
United Conservative Party MLA Dan Williams plans to advocate for Bill 207, the Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, well into the new year. Williams’ bill would ensure health practitioners — and organizations — can conscientiously decline a procedure without worry that they would be penalized or, at worst, lose their job. . .[Full text]
‘We don’t support abandoning our patients,’ Edmonton doctor says
A controversial conscience rights bill that critics say would reduce access to health care is back up for discussion in the legislature Monday — and Edmonton doctors are urging the government to vote it down.
On Nov. 21, the standing committee on private bills and private members’ public bills determined Bill 207 should not move forward for debate. The legislature will vote Monday on whether to accept the all-party committee’s recommendation.
“This bill needs to die,” said Dr. Shelley Duggan, a critical care physician who works at Covenant Health facilities in Edmonton. . . [Full text]
Medicine Hat News
Bill 207 has been aborted, at least for the time being.
The controversial piece of legislation, which would have allowed
health-care providers to refuse to provide certain medical services
under the guise of “freedom of conscience,” was quashed Thursday night
It was a thinly-veiled effort to roll back abortion, assisted suicide and transgender rights as a concession to the religious right. It rightfully provoked fierce public backlash from the very health-care providers whose rights it purported to protect. . . [Full text]
‘This is a very political thing and a very cynical thing and it is not about physicians’
A controversial private member’s bill that called for more
protection for Alberta health workers who invoke conscience rights was
rejected Thursday by an all-party committee of the legislature.
The Conscience Rights Act for Healthcare Workers, or Bill 207 — introduced
by Peace River MLA and UCP (United Conservative Party) backbencher Dan
Williams — would have meant doctors could not be sued or sanctioned for
refusing to provide a service that goes against their moral beliefs.
Some doctors and patient advocates said the bill would limit access to medical services such as contraception, abortion and assisted dying. . .[Full text]
21 November, 2019
A bill creating special conscience rights for doctors will not
move on to debate in the house after doctors and health-care advocates
told legislators in a committee meeting Thursday night that it put
access to medical care at risk.
A committee voted 8-2 for Bill 207 to not proceed, including 4 UCP MLAs voting against it going to debate.
“No one right is more important than another right. When our rights as human beings come into conflict with each other’s rights, we must always ask ourselves: where is the greater harm?” said Stephanie Shostak of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta at the committee meeting. . . [Full text]
EDMONTON — Criticism swelled on Saturday of a new private
member’s bill that would undo a requirement of doctors to refer
treatment or service which goes against their beliefs, as protestors
rallied at the Alberta Legislature to express their concern.
Sanda Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, called Bill 207, The Conscience Rights Protection Act, an unnecessary piece of proposed legislation that would cause discrimination and harm. . . [Full text]
A pair of Calgary MLAs say they won’t support a controversial
private-member’s bill meant to extend protection for physicians’
Introduced in the legislature last week by Peace River MLA and UCP backbencher Dan Williams, Bill 207 would prevent patients from submitting a professional complaint or suing a health-care worker for failing to provide a service if medical staff objects to it. The bill would also add “conscientious beliefs” as grounds protected from discrimination in the Alberta Human Rights Act. . . [Full text]
Responding to Caplan AL. Whose rights come first: Doctors or patients? Medscape, 5 November, 2019
“Whose rights come first?” asks Professor Arthur Caplan in a recent Medscape column. “Doctors’ or patients?”
“You can’t have physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and social workers saying they are not going to do legally allowed medicine or standard-of-care treatment because it violates their rights,” says Professor Caplan. He does suggest that refusal can be allowed if the objector can find a substitute “and it doesn’t disrupt the ER or the organization of healthcare delivery.” . . . Full text