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Conscience Protection in Manitoba

The Manitoba government has introduced legislation to strengthen the notion of conscience protection for doctors and other healthcare professionals. Bill 34 is called the “Medical Assistance in Dying (Protection for Health Professionals and Others) Act”.

Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen says it would prevent sanctions against a health professional who refuses to participate in a medically assisted death and ensure that medical professionals are not disciplined for their beliefs.

The bill also prohibits a professional regulatory body – such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons – from requiring its members to participate in a medically assisted death. The College already has guidelines on this issue that say doctors in Manitoba may refuse to provide medical assistance in dying. They can also refuse to refer the patient to another physician who will provide the service, but they do have to provide patients with “timely access to a resource that will provide accurate information about MAID”. They also have a duty to promptly inform the patient of any conscience-based objections they may have.

Bill 34: Conscience Rights (Manitoba), Freedom of Conscience, Manitoba Email Us 

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