Protection of Conscience Project
Protection of Conscience Project
www.consciencelaws.org
Service, not Servitude

Service, not Servitude
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Canada

House of Commons

Bill C-268 (2016)  Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act

Kelly Block, M.P.

Check the status of this bill.

SUMMARY

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to make it an offence to intimidate a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying. It also makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying.

Original text.


An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)
Preamble

Whereas everyone has freedom of conscience and religion under section 2 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Whereas Parliament considers that it is in the public interest to protect the freedom of conscience of a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional who objects to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying;

And whereas a regime that would require a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional to make use of effective referral of patients could infringe on the freedom of conscience of those medical practitioners, nurse practitioners, pharmacists or any other health care professional;

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

Short Title

1.  This Act may be cited as the he Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act.

Criminal Code

2. The portion of section 241.1 of the Criminal Code before the first definition is replaced by the following:

Definitions

241.‍1 The following definitions apply in this section and in sections 241.‍2 to 241.‍5.

3.    The Act is amended by adding the following after section 241.‍4:

Offence and punishment

241.‍5 (1) Every one who, for the purpose of compelling a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist or any other health care professional to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying, uses violence or threats of violence, coercion or any other form of intimidation, is guilty of

a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or

b) an offence punishable on summary conviction.

Offence and punishment

(2) Every one who refuses to employ, or dismisses from their employment, a medical practitioner, a nurse practitioner, a pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying is guilty of

(a) an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term of not more than five years; or

(b) is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.