A bill introduced in the Canadian Senate is going to bat for health care workers who object to morally objectional medical practices such as abortion and assisted suicide.

Pro-life Senator Stanley Haidasz of Toronto introduced Bill S-7 November 19. The bill would amend the Criminal Code to protect health workers from coercion in assisting in procedures posing avoidable risk to human life.

The Haidasz bill supports lobbying efforts by Campaign Life Coalition and other groups for “conscience clause” legislation.

Philip Horgan of the Catholic Civil Rights (see column page 21 of this issue of The Interim), said conscience legislation is sorely needed in Canada. “Social, legal and medical developments involving abortion, contraception, euthanasia, withdrawal of feeding, assisted suicide, blood transfusion, fertility treatments, organ transplants, and medical experimentation invariably place the health care worker on the front line of moral choice,” Horgan said.

At present, pro-life nurses and other health staff can be fired or disciplined for refusing to participate in procedures which clash with their religious or moral beliefs.

Haidasz’ bill S-7 prohibits the use of force in compelling health care workers to assist in medical procedures to which they have such objections.

The bill is design to screen out frivolous objections in favor of those involving life and death decisions.