For Immediate Release
Protection of Conscience Project
“If it is ‘unacceptable’ for Members of Parliament to use physical force against each other, surely it is “unacceptable” for state institutions or others to use the force of law to compel people to be parties to inflicting death upon others, and to punish those who refuse.”
That is the message over 400 Canadian Members of Parliament and Senators returning to Ottawa will find on their desks in a letter from the Protection of Conscience Project. The letters began to arrive Friday morning and should be waiting for MPs and Senators returning to Parliament to resume sitting on Monday.
The Project is proposing an amendment to the government’s Bill C-14, which is intended to allow medical and nurse practitioners to provide euthanasia and assisted suicide in accordance with the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General).
“Writing directly to individual legislators is a very unusual step,” said Sean Murphy, Administrator of the Protection of Conscience Project. The letter was sent because of the gravity of the issue, and because the Project’s submission on Bill C-14 – like many others – was not distributed to members of the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights before it concluded its deliberations on the bill.
“Ironically, perhaps,” states the letter, “what the Protection of Conscience proposes is not a protection of conscience amendment.”
“Instead, the amendment is limited to the criminal law, which is strictly and fully within the jurisdiction of the Parliament of Canada.”
In making the argument that the criminal law should prohibit coerced participation in homicide and suicide, the letter refers to the conduct of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau the House of Commons on 18 May, which caused an uproar in the House and delayed debate on Bill C-14.
“The delay caused by the Prime Minister has made it possible to make this one last effort to reach legislators,” said Murphy, “and his conduct has enabled the Project to make its point in a very practical way.”
Sean Murphy, Administrator