With everyone talking about the upcoming Conservative leadership race and the Freedom Convoy, most missed the news that MP Kelly Block has tabled “The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act.” Here’s how Canadian Physicians for Life summarized it:
This bill proposes two important amendments to the Criminal Code:
The first change would make it a criminal offence to intimidate or coerce a medical professional to take part in assisting a patient’s suicide.
The second change would make it an offence to fire or refuse to hire a medical professional if the sole reason is the professional’s refusal to take part in assisted suicide.
The preamble of the bill also acknowledges that mandating effective referrals poses a threat to healthcare professionals’ fundamental freedom of conscience.
Dr. Heidi Janz praised the bill saying:
Canada needs conscience rights protections for medical professionals because Canadians with disabilities and chronic illnesses have a right to medical professionals who choose to stand against the systemic ableism that deems people to be better off dead than disabled. We have a right to safe doctors who will help us fight for our lives. In short, the human rights of Canadians with disabilities and chronic illnesses demand the protection of the conscience rights of medical professionals.
The timing of this bill matters greatly. As the Conservative Party enters into a Leadership contest, the coming months are a critical time to question the contenders on where they stand on protecting Canadians’ fundamental freedom of conscience.
This bill protects the senior who is dying – not of disease but of isolation – from a premature death by euthanasia.
This bill protects the young woman on disability assistance from too easily receiving an assisted suicide because she cannot pay the rent.
Conscience rights for healthcare professionals protect patients.
Anyone who is given pause by a patient’s situation must never be coerced to facilitate their death.
Watch Kelly Block’s short video here.