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]
Many Catholic doctors in Alberta are worried that they will soon be forced to provide referrals for medically assisted suicide, says the head of the provincial St. Luke’s Physicians’ Guild.
Dr. Mary Ellen Haggerty says a recent Ontario court decision sets a precedent that will lead to a legal requirement that any doctor in Alberta must provide that referral. For Catholics, such a referral would make them morally complicit in the act itself. To date the doctors have been protected by the Charter rights to freedom of conscience and freedom of religion if they refused to participate in assisted suicide and euthanasia, as well as abortion and other controversial procedures. . . [Full text]