House votes against right-of-conscience bill for health care workers


In the House of Commons on Wednesday, lawmakers will protect the right of conscience of health care workers who do not wish to “directly or indirectly” participate in medical assistance leading to death (MAiD). The Conservative MPs rejected the bill.

Building C-230, was introduced in February by Conservative MP Kelly Brock of Saskatchewan to amend the penal code to make it “criminal to intimidate a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care professional for the purpose of coercing them to participate.” It was intended to be or indirectly, in providing life-threatening medical assistance. ”

The bill was defeated by 208 to 115 votes on 5 October, with a majority of Conservatives, including party leader Pierre Polivre, voting in favor, while the Liberals and most NDP and Bloc Quebec MPs voted against. .

Conservative MP Melissa Landman, one of the party’s deputy leaders, said: no record Vote with several other Conservative MPs on the House of Commons website.

previous statementBrock said Bill C-230 is a necessary safeguard against Bill C-7 and will broaden the availability of MAiD in Canada, extending it to individuals whose sole medical condition is mental illness.

“By Bill C-7, patients are at risk of being pressured to undergo medically assisted death, and physicians are being pressured to participate in unsuspecting deaths,” Bullock said.

The government reiterated that C-7 granting MAiD “for individuals whose natural death is not reasonably foreseeable” does not violate the conscience and religious freedom of health care workers.

“Like existing law, the bill would not compel health care providers to provide such assistance or interfere with their freedom of conscience or religious rights under Section 2(a) of the Charter. There is nothing to do,” the Department of Justice said. explanation of the bill.

However, the online document states that because Bill C-7 greatly expanded the availability of MAiD, “requests for medical assistance when dying in circumstances that may violate the conscience or religious beliefs of some health care providers.” It will lead to,” he said.

Since MAiD was legalized in 2016, the number of assisted suicides nationwide has increased each year.

According to Health Canada Third Annual Report Between 2016 and 2021, more than 31,000 Canadians underwent a medically assisted death in MAiD.

Canadian Press contributed to this report.

peter wilson


Peter Wilson is a reporter based in Ontario, Canada.