Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act

An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying)

Sponsor

Mark Warawa  Conservative

Introduced as a private member’s bill. (These don’t often become law.)

Status

Introduced, as of May 5, 2016

Subscribe to a feed (what's a feed?) of speeches and votes in the House related to Bill C-268.

Summary

This is from the published bill. The Library of Parliament often publishes better independent summaries.

This enactment amends the Criminal Code to make it an offence to intimidate a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying. It also makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of medical assistance in dying.

Elsewhere

All sorts of information on this bill is available at LEGISinfo, provided by the Library of Parliament. You can also read the full text of the bill.

Physician-Assisted DyingPetitionsRoutine Proceedings

October 31st, 2016 / 3:20 p.m.
See context

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

Mr. Speaker, I have a petition regarding the protection of conscience of physicians in Canada. It highlights that during the committee meetings on assisted suicide, the committee overwhelmingly heard that coercion, intimidation, and other forms of pressure intended to force physicians and health institutions to become parties to assisted suicide and euthanasia is a violation of fundamental freedom of conscience rights in Canada.

The petitioners are calling upon this Parliament to support Bill C-268 to enshrine in the Criminal Code the protection of conscience for physicians and health care institutions from coercion and intimidation.

Opposition Motion—Freedom of ConscienceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

May 13th, 2016 / 1 p.m.
See context

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, we have a motion before us today with a few basic points, and it seems to me that conscience rights for health care professionals are a fundamental freedom, and I argue that they are guarded and protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. However, the failure to protect those conscience rights within our health care system cannot do anything but damage our health care system.

We have a private member's bill, Bill C-268, that addresses these issues and specifically talks about giving people the opportunity to be able to exercise their freedom. I appreciate the minister's attention to this bill. Earlier today, though, she said that this does not create a duty that was not there before. I would argue that actually it does, because this is new ground. This is completely new ground that we are going into. There has never been an expectation in the medical community before that health care providers need to participate in causing death. There are new duties being created here that are not being addressed by Bill C-14 that need to be. We need to stop, take a look at it, and then try to reapply some of those things that are important in terms of conscience rights.

Opposition Motion—Freedom of ConscienceBusiness of SupplyGovernment Orders

May 13th, 2016 / 1 p.m.
See context

Conservative

David Anderson Conservative Cypress Hills—Grasslands, SK

Madam Speaker, I do not think that is difficult to reconcile. When the member is saying the majority agree, I do not know that I would agree with that. However, that does not negate the obligation and the requirement to have conscience rights for those who do not. For the majority who are agreeing, obviously that is not an issue for them, but that is not what we are talking about today.

We are talking about that group of people, whether it is a minority or a majority, who have said, “I am involved in the medical profession. I do not want to participate in this. I am not prepared to do that”. I do not know that it is so difficult in this day and age to be able to provide that opportunity for people to say, “I'm backing out of this. There are other people who have made a choice that they will participate and take part in this”, and allow them to do that as well. I do not think it is a difficult decision to make.

We actually have Bill C-268 by one of our members that talks specifically about the provisions that would be acceptable and very useful in that situation.

Protection of Freedom of Conscience ActRoutine Proceedings

May 5th, 2016 / 10:30 a.m.
See context

Conservative

Mark Warawa Conservative Langley—Aldergrove, BC

moved for leave to introduce Bill C-268, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying).

Mr. Speaker, I am honoured to present my private member's bill known as the protection of freedom of conscience act. With the introduction of Bill C-14, I have heard from many Canadians. I think all of us in this House have heard that Bill C-14 has a gaping hole: it does not protect the conscience rights of Canadians. The Carter decision required that conscience rights be protected for medical health care professionals. This is not included in Bill C-14. The government has said that it does not compel but it also does not protect conscience rights. Therefore, I am proud and thankful to represent all Canadians with respect to a pan-Canadian approach to protect the conscience rights of health care professionals with the passage of this bill, the protection of freedom of conscience act.

(Motions deemed adopted, bill read the first time and printed)