Sydney Morning Herald
A pharmacist could refuse to dispense contraception and a doctor could refuse to provide fertility treatment under the government’s proposed new religious discrimination laws, provided they declined to provide that particular service to all patients.
Attorney-General Christian Porter said the second draft of the religious discrimination bill, released on Tuesday, would allow doctors, nurses, midwives, pharmacists and psychologists to conscientiously object as long as it was “to a procedure, not a person”. . . [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]
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]
Backbench MLA faces continued questions about potential implications of Bill 207
The Alberta UCP MLA behind a controversial bill on conscience
rights for health care providers says the bill isn’t intended to cut
access to services like abortion and medical assistance in dying as
critics have charged.
“I feel there is some misinformation about what the bill is
trying to do and what it does do,” Peace River MLA Dan Williams told
“I want to be absolutely clear. This bill in no way categorically limits access to any services. That was not my intent, that is not what the bill does.” . . . [Full text]