Mrs. Kelly Block, MP
House of Commons
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A6
Dear Mrs. Block,
Thank you for taking the initiative to introduce Bill C-268
, the Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act
Bill C-268 clarifies that health care professionals must not be coerced into participating – either directly or indirectly - in medical assistance in dying. It offers much needed assurance that they will not be forced to choose between violating their conscience and losing their job.
Doctors and other health care professionals may object to medical assistance in dying for any number of reasons, including conscience, religious beliefs, ethics or personal convictions.
This protection is needed now more than ever, as medical assistance in dying is expanded to include Canadians who are not dying and those with mental illness alone. Parliament is poised to study MAID for mature minors and those who are not able to give consent at the time of the hastened death. Media reports tell of patients who are asking for MAID because they have inadequate housing or supports.
For some doctors and nurse practitioners, having to make an effective referral is akin to performing the procedure itself. Whether they end a patient’s life themselves or arrange for it to be done by someone else (via effective referral), they are still participating in the process. An effective referral is their judgment on the particular course of medical treatment or procedure they deem to be in the best interest of the patient.
No medical professional should be forced to participate in taking the life of a patient.
Freedom of conscience
and religion are core principles in Canadian life and the first fundamental freedoms listed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms
We support this legislation and commend you for introducing it.
Julia Beazley, Director, Public Policy
The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
Author: Julia Beazley