Paul Tuns:

Conservative MP Kelly Block (Carlton Trail-Eagle Creek) introduced a conscience rights private member’s bill in Parliament.

If passed, Bill C-230, “An Act to amend the Criminal Code (intimidation of health care professionals),” would make it a criminal offense to compel a medical professional from taking part, directly or indirectly, in euthanasia or assisted-suicide or firing any such medical professional for refusing to take part in so-called Medical Aid in Dying.

C-230 would define doctors, nurses, and pharmacists as medical professionals, and notes that freedom of conscience and religion are protected by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Speaking in the House of Commons on Feb. 4 to introduce the bill, Block said “we need to create an environment for medical professionals that protects them, supports them, and encourages them to continue in the critical work they do.” She said “Medical professionals are facing increasing pressure to participate in assisted suicide, and this is causing many to question their ability to work here in Canada.”

Block said C-230 would “protect medical professionals from intimidation or coercion to participate in medically assisted suicide.”

Alex Schadenberg, executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, has praised the bill and the EPC has launched a petition in support of Bill C-230. In a two-minute YouTube video, he endorsed Block’s efforts as “a very important piece of information,” saying it is necessary to protect health care workers from professional bullying and job protection. He encouraged supporters to contact MPs to urge them to vote for C-230. 

Schadenberg said concerned Canadians should tell their MPs “I support conscience rights for medical professionals,” and add personal flavor such as: “I, as a person who opposes euthanasia and assisted-suicide, want a doctor who will oppose euthanasia and assisted-suicide … or feel pressured to pressure me toward euthanasia and assisted-suicide.”

Campaign Life Coalition campaigns manager David Cooke said in an eblast to the organization’s supporters, “this medical freedom bill allows doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare workers to say ‘no’ to euthanizing their patients.” He said C-230 should be passed because only then will healthcare workers “be free to reject medical murder without fear of losing their jobs or being punished by health care bureaucrats.”

Cooke encouraged CLC supporters to sign its petition in favour of C-230 and contact their MPs to urge them to vote for C-230, saying it “is especially vital in light of the Trudeau government’s recent expansion of euthanasia, which now designates disabled and depressed Canadians (who are otherwise healthy) as being eligible candidates for killing.”

When Parliament voted to expand the criteria of who could be killed by euthanasia last year, three doctors wrote a column for the Ottawa Citizen calling for the government to also protect the conscience rights of medical professionals – a call that went unheeded by the government. Drs Thomas Bouchard, Ramona Coehlo, and Leonie Herx argued that “professional medical opinions are rooted in extensive medical knowledge, years of training and practice, and an individual practitioner’s conscience,” explaining, “it is our conscience that navigates us through the ethics necessary for providing each patient with the best medical advice for a given situation.”

The last two attempts to bring conscience rights bill before Parliament were Block’s C-268 in the previous Parliament and now retired Conservative MP David Anderson’s C-418 in 2018. Neither came up for a vote before the dissolution of Parliament.

Block’s C-230 is currently the 12th private member’s bill on Order of Precedence meaning it is likely to be taken up during the current session of Parliament.

abortions are occurring in the U.S., but are being suppressed in favor of pro-abortion political talking points that declare abortion drugs are safe.” 

Campaign Life Coalition national president Jeff Gunnarson said that such data is hard to come by in Canada, but he assumes that, if it were available, it would tell the same story: “The abortion pill is always deadly to the unborn child and often harms and sometimes, in rare cases, kills, the mother.” He said “women deserve to know the truth about the health risks of the abortion pill,” and not “propaganda from the abortion industry and their friends in the medical establishment that have been pushing easy access to the abortion pill even before the pandemic started.”