Manitoba’s Medical Assistance in Dying Act to Ensure Protection for Conscientious Objectors

In August of last year, Christian Legal Fellowship wrote to the Manitoba government, urging the legislature to protect health care providers from pressures to either perform euthanasia/assisted suicide directly or effectively refer patients requesting such procedures to a willing physician.[1] CLF argued that to mandate such participation would violate physicians’ Charter-protected right to conscience and religion. It would also penalize and exclude conscientiously-objecting physicians from medical occupations on the basis of their religion which amounts to discrimination and a violation of s.15 of the Charter.  

In May of this year, Manitoba held the first reading of Bill-34.[2] If it passes, this legislation will protect health care professionals who conscientiously object to participating, either directly or indirectly, in euthanasia/assisted suicide from being compelled to do so. Bill-34 also provides further protection from professional regulatory rules requiring participation.

[1] See < http://bit.ly/2tWFSpu >

[2] Bill 34, The Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act, 2nd Sess, 41st Leg, Manitoba, 2017.