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]
A private member’s bill to protect the conscience rights of health professionals in Alberta is still fighting for survival.
United Conservative Party MLA Dan Williams plans to advocate for Bill 207, the Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, well into the new year. Williams’ bill would ensure health practitioners — and organizations — can conscientiously decline a procedure without worry that they would be penalized or, at worst, lose their job. . .[Full text]
Standing committee recommended Bill 207 not proceed to second reading
The fate of a controversial private members’ bill on conscience rights for medical providers is in limbo as the fall sitting of the Alberta legislature wraps up this week.
On Monday, MLAs were to debate whether they would accept a report from the standing committee on private bills and private members’ bills, which recommended Bill 207 not proceed to second reading. . . the house was suddenly adjourned after a man died by suicide on the steps of the legislature building. . . [Full text]
Monday’s afternoon sitting of the legislature was temporarily adjourned after a body was found on the building’s front steps.
A person died by suicide after a firearm was shot on the legislature grounds shortly after 3 p.m.
At 3:12 p.m., Peace River MLA Dan Williams was giving a passionate speech in the legislature in an attempt to keep alive his private members’ bill about health-care workers’ conscience rights. . . [Full text]
‘We don’t support abandoning our patients,’ Edmonton doctor says
A controversial conscience rights bill that critics say would reduce access to health care is back up for discussion in the legislature Monday — and Edmonton doctors are urging the government to vote it down.
On Nov. 21, the standing committee on private bills and private members’ public bills determined Bill 207 should not move forward for debate. The legislature will vote Monday on whether to accept the all-party committee’s recommendation.
“This bill needs to die,” said Dr. Shelley Duggan, a critical care physician who works at Covenant Health facilities in Edmonton. . . [Full text]