Conscience rights to be addressed by Ontario legislators

The Catholic Register

Michael Swan

The right being sought by many Ontario doctors to refuse to give patient referrals for euthanasia and assisted suicide will be addressed in committee meetings at Queen’s Park in the next month.

Progressive Conservative health critic Jeff Yurek plans to introduce a conscience-protection amendment to legislation currently being debated in the Ontario legislature.

Now in second reading, Bill 84 is designed to clear up legal ambiguities surrounding doctor-assisted suicide — everything from how coroners are to record assisted suicide deaths to the right of families to collect insurance benefits. However, the legislation currently does not include conscience protection for doctors. Instead, Ontario’s independent regulator for doctors requires all doctors to provide an “effective referral” for procedures, even if the doctor objects on moral, religious or conscience grounds. . . [Full text]

 

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