The Catholic Register
EDMONTON — A United Conservative Party MLA has lost his bid to strengthen the rights of health-care providers in Alberta to refuse procedures contrary to their moral beliefs.
Dan Williams’ Bill 207, the Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, was shot down by his fellow members of the legislature who sit on the assembly’s standing committee for private members’ bills. Eight of 10 committee members voted against the bill’s second reading, including some of Williams’ UCP colleagues.
Neither Premier Jason Kenney nor Health Minister Tyler Shandro had voiced support for the bill. Nevertheless, Williams will continue to advocate for conscience rights. . . [Full text]
Backbench UCP MLA Dan Williams continued to take heat from the
NDP Opposition Monday for introducing conscience rights legislation and
offered changes to the controversial bill meant to protect health-care
“My intention with offering these amendments is a genuine olive branch, a genuine attempt to say ‘the purpose of this bill is to protect conscience rights, and in no way has any desire to limit access,’” said Williams, MLA for Peace River, in a committee on private member’s bills. . . [Full text]
MLA who put private member’s bill forward has already drawn up amendments
A wave of public debate over a bill that aims to support the
conscience beliefs of medical professionals has the Peace River MLA who
drew up the bill already making adjustments.
Speaking to a legislature standing committee, Dan Williams said he’d had numerous discussions since introducing Bill 207 on Nov. 7, prompting him to draft amendments to address concerns he was hearing. [Full text]
A controversial doctors’ conscience-rights bill won’t impede
services for abortion, transgendered people and those seeking medically
assisted death, Alberta Health Minister Tyler Shandro said Wednesday.
But the minister admitted he isn’t entirely familiar with some aspects of private member’s Bill 207, which passed first reading in the legislature last week.
Those comments came the same day the Alberta Medical Association expressed opposition to the bill, calling it “unnecessary” while saying it threatens to “limit access to patient services.” . . . [Full text]
The head of the Alberta Medical Association says a private
member’s bill introduced last week that would protect the conscience
rights of medical professionals is “unnecessary and inappropriate,”
while the bill’s sponsor and the province’s health minister doubled down
that access to health care wouldn’t be affected.
Dr. Christine Molnar, president of the Alberta Medical Association (AMA), wrote to Health Minister Tyler Shandro on Wednesday about her concerns on Bill 207. Also included in the letter were Premier Jason Kenney and Peace River MLA Dan Williams, who introduced the bill on Nov. 7. . . [Full text]
Bill reopens debate on physicians’ conscience rights
Advocates say a bill before the Alberta legislature, purported
to defend the conscience rights of health-care professionals, could
effectively legalize discrimination against transgender people.
Critics say the bill strips the requirement for health-care
professionals to refer a patient to another physician if the patient’s
needs conflict with their personal or religious beliefs.
“This bill, as it stands, is going to create a situation where
there will be legal, government-sanctioned discrimination,” said Holly
Tomm, president of the Trans Equality Society of Alberta.
“It needs to be stopped.” . . . [Full text]
EDMONTON—Legal experts say a bill tabled in the Alberta
legislature that aims to protect conscience rights of health care
providers may have dire consequences for access to health care services
in the province, despite the assertion of the government that it will
Peace River backbench MLA Dan Williams tabled Bill 207 in the legislature on Thursday — he said the bill seeks to affirm the Charter rights of physicians and nurses who object to providing certain medical procedures on the basis of moral or religious obligations. . . [Full text]