Ontario conscience rights bill voted down

Catholic Register

Michael Swan

In a strict party lines vote, a bill that would have shielded doctors and other health care providers from punishment for refusing to refer their patients on for assisted suicide was voted down at Queen’s Park on May 18.

In a recorded vote, 39 Liberals and New Democrats voted against Bill 129, Jeff Yurek’s private members’ bill aimed at protecting the conscience rights of doctors and other health care professionals. All 23 Progressive Conservatives backed their health critic’s bill.

Focus now shifts to the Christian Medical and Dental Society of Canada’s court challenge to the forced referral policy of the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario. Three days of oral arguments are scheduled for Ontario Superior Court of Justice, Divisional Court June 13-15. . . [Full text]

 

Bill Allowing Ontario Doctors to Reject Assisted Suicide Fails

Ontario doctor: “Making a referral [for assisted suicide] is being complicit in the act of killing a patient”

Church Militant

Bradley Eli

TORONTO (ChurchMilitant.com) – A bill, allowing Ontario’s doctors to opt out of assisted suicide, has failed to pass.

On Thursday, Ontario’s legislative assembly voted down Bill 129, which would’ve shielded doctors from having to refer suicidal patients to doctors, who would help kill them. . .  Bill 129 would have protected doctors from prosecution when they refused to be complicit in killing patients. The bill reads, “A member shall not be subject to (liability or disciplinary penalty) for refusing to participate, directly or indirectly, in medical assistance in dying.” . . .  [Full text]

 

Doctors launch online pledge against torture

BioEdge

Michael Cook*

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) has launched an online pledge for health professionals across the United States to reject torture as an absolute wrong which can never be sanctioned.

“At a time when human rights are increasingly under threat, we’ve launched this pledge to marshal the powerful voices of health professionals across the United States and reaffirm their ethical duties to honour human dignity,” said PHR’s executive director, Physicians for Human Rights (PHR)Donna McKay. . . .[Full text]

When doctors say No

A law professor defends physicians’ right to conscientious objection

MercatorNet

Michael Quinlan*

As abortion, euthanasia and other controversial procedures become more widespread, conscientious objection for healthcare workers is becoming a flashpoint for controversy throughout the Western world. Some doctors and ethicists have argued that conscientious objection itself is unethical because doctors are required to fulfil any legal request that their patients make.

MercatorNet interviewed Professor Michael Quinlan, dean of the law school at the Sydney campus of the University of Notre Dame Australia, about this contentious issue. He has just published an article on the situation in Australian jurisdictions. [Full text]

Health care workers bring case for conscience rights to Ontario legislature

Catholic Register

Michael Swan

Armed with letters of support from religious community leaders, plus the official positions of the Ontario, Canadian and American Medical Associations, health care professionals descended on Queen’s Park May 18 in support of a Progressive Conservative private members’ bill that would shield doctors from punishment by the College of Physicians and Surgeons and other regulatory bodies if they refuse to refer for medically assisted suicide.

As the doctors entered the provincial legislature at 9 a.m., security staff warned the doctors they would not be allowed to sit in the public gallery that rings the law makers if they wear their scrubs, as that would be considered a form of protest.

Wearing her scrubs, Concerned Ontario Doctors president Dr. Kulvinder Gill made the case for Conservative health critic Jeff Yurek’s Bill 129 at a 9:45 a.m. press conference. . . [Full text]

 

Take us out of assisted dying referral process: Doctors

Toronto Sun

Kevin Connor

TORONTO – Many Ontario doctors and nurses working in palliative care say their objection to playing a role in assisted suicides may force them to leave the medical profession.

That was the message about two dozen physicians, nurses and pharmacists brought to Queen’s Park on Thursday morning prior to the introduction of Tory MPP Jeff Yurek’s private member’s bill (Bill 129), which is designed to amend the Medical Assistance Dying Statute Law.

The current assisted dying law permits health-care providers to refuse participation in helping patients die on the basis of their conscience or religious beliefs.

What the health-care providers at Queen’s Park object to is the requirement that forces them to make referrals for critically-ill patients seeking an assisted death. . . [Full text]

 

Manitoba bill aims to protect staff unwilling to offer assisted death

Doctors or nurses who refuse to help patient die protected from repercussions under new legislation

CBC News

Medical professionals in Manitoba who refuse to help terminally ill patients die will be protected from reprisals under new legislation introduced Tuesday.

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives said Bill 34, The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act, will ensure staff cannot be compelled to go against their own religious or ethical beliefs.

“The legislation will protect the rights of those who do not wish to participate in medically assisted death for conscience, faith or other reasons,” Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said.

The move follows announcements last year from two Winnipeg faith-based hospitals, Concordia Hospital (Anabaptist-Mennonite) and St. Boniface Hospital (Catholic), which said they will not provide the service to patients. . . [Full text]

 

Manitoba bill aims to protect staff unwilling to offer assisted death

Doctors or nurses who refuse to help patient die protected from repercussions under new legislation

CBC News

Medical professionals in Manitoba who refuse to help terminally ill patients die will be protected from reprisals under new legislation introduced Tuesday.

Manitoba’s Progressive Conservatives said Bill 34, the The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act, will ensure staff cannot be compelled to go against their own religious or ethical beliefs.

“The legislation will protect the rights of those who do not wish to participate in medically assisted death for conscience, faith or other reasons,” Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said. . . [Full text]

 

Participating in medically assisted death not mandatory for health-care workers

New provincial bill similar to federal law

Winnipeg Free Press

Larry Kusch

The provincial government introduced legislation Tuesday that would prevent sanctions against a health professional who refuses to participate in a medically assisted death.

In introducing Bill 34, The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act, Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen said it would ensure medical professionals are not disciplined for their beliefs.

“The legislation will protect the rights of those who do not wish to participate in a medically assisted death for conscious, faith or other reasons,” he told the legislative assembly. [Full text]

 

The Nature and Necessity of Conscience Protections for Health Care Providers

From Protecting the Least of Among Us:  The Enduring Universal Wisdom of the Church on Euthanasia

Keynote Address to Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute
Canadian Catholic Bioethics Institute

Gerhard Cardinal Müller*

Given the gravity of the threat posed by legal euthanasia, it is essential that we work for its reversal in the law.  But in the meantime, we must take immediate measures to protect the rights of health care providers who refuse to collaborate in or facilitate access to euthanasia.

This is not simply a Catholic issue.  No one who trains and takes an oath to care for the sick should be pressed into ending the lives of the very people that they have promised to serve. . . [Full text]