Steinbach, MB – Ted Falk, Member of Parliament for Provencher, has seconded Bill C-268, The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act, in the House of Commons.
Introduced by Conservative MP Kelly Block, The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act responds to calls from physicians and patients to ensure conscience rights for medical professionals are protected.
“Freedom of conscience is a fundamental right for all Canadians,” said Falk. “With the legalization of medical assistance in dying in Canada, we’ve seen that right eroded for health care providers.”
The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act will protect the conscience rights of medical professionals who have chosen to not take part, directly or indirectly, in medical assistance in dying (MAID) or euthanasia by making it a punishable offense to use violence, threats, coercion, or intimidation in order to force a medical professional to take part in or refer a patient for MAID or assisted suicide. It also would prohibit the firing or refusal to hire medical professionals if the sole reason is their refusal to take part in MAID.
“If every physician is required to promote MAID, patients will lose the freedom to seek a second opinion,” said Falk. “The Protection of Freedom of Conscience Act protects the doctor-patient relationship by ensuring medical professionals can recommend and provide care that they believe is best for their patients.”