The Globe and Mail
An Alberta private member’s bill that would have protected
doctors’ rights to refuse to perform procedures or refer patients for
moral reasons has been voted down at committee.
The vote means the bill, which prompted allegations that the United Conservative Party government was attempting to reopen debates about abortion and assisted dying, is likely dead, with several UCP members voting against it. Critics of the bill argued it would be unconstitutional and accused Premier Jason Kenney of breaking an election promise that abortion would not be on the agenda if his party formed the government. . . [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]
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]