Mr. Speaker, while my time for debate is short, I look forward to continuing it tomorrow.
As members know, the issue of conscience objection has been a topic of considerable discussion in relation to medical assistance in dying. Fundamentally, this debate highlights the need to achieve an appropriate balance in respecting the rights of physicians, nurse practitioners, and other health care providers to abstain from providing medical assistance in dying while supporting the rights of eligible patients to access such services.
It is evident that governments, national associations, and also members of the public recognize the moral and ethical struggle that health care providers could experience regarding medical assistance in dying. Most provincial medical regulatory bodies have already provided professional guidance around safeguarding the conscience rights of physicians. Provinces, like Alberta and New Brunswick, say that their physicians are under no obligation to participate in assistance in dying. However, they recognize that continuity of care, especially at this most critical time in a person's life, also cannot be neglected. Patients cannot be abandoned.