Bill 207: Conscience Protection for Health Care Providers

Dear Friends of CCMA,

As many of you know, Bill 207 was introduced by MLA Dan Williams to support conscience protection for Health Care Providers.  The CCMA supports this Bill to help balance the mutual freedoms of physicians and patients without compromising either.  Many of the objections to the Bill relate to patient access to certain procedures. However, this bill is not written to limit access (as self-referral is readily available), but rather to protect the conscience rights of medical professionals, as assured by the Charter that every Canadian has the fundamental freedom of conscience. 

Update: (Novemember 29, 2019)
Last Thursday Nov 21, the Standing Committee on Private Members’ Bills voted against allowing Bill 207 to move forward to Second Reading in Legislature. The Standing Committee has a majority of United Conservative Party MLAs, but because 4 of the 6 UCP MLAs voted with the NDP, the Conscience Rights Bill was voted down in committee. These 4 MLAs were:
1) Jeremy Nixon (Calgary – Klein)
2) Nathan Neudorf (Lethbridge – East)
3) Nate Horner (Drumheller – Stettler)
4) R.J. Sigurdson (Highwood)

What’s Next?
With the committee’s recommendation to kill the bill, there needed to follow a unanimous consent from parliament to adopt the committee’s directive. In opposition to this, MLA Dan Williams stood up in a motion of non-concurrence. Consequently, the bill will now be debated this Monday December 2nd in legislature.  After the debate, the bill could either be voted on, or the debate could be adjourned until legislature resumes in February.

What Can We Do?
Below are some steps you can take to keep Bill 207 moving forward:

  1. SIGN THE PETITION (click here). This is an easy way to let legislators know that conscience protection is important to Albertans.
  2. CONTACT YOUR MLA: If you haven’t yet done so, please let your MLA know of your support of Bill 207, so that if this bill comes down to a vote either Monday or in February, they have your support to move the bill forward.

    You may contact your MLA:
    – By a quick electronic letter (personalize it as much as possible): https://www.canadiansforconscience.ca/alberta
    – Or by email / phone: http://www.assembly.ab.ca/net/index.aspx?p=mla_home&rnumber= 

Consider including the following points in your correspondence:

  • You support the mutual freedoms of patients and physicians, and want the Albertan model to be exemplified by this law.
  • As the province of Alberta has a robust self-referral system, respecting the conscience rights of medical professionals does not compromise patient care, but rather, it encourages diversity, and enables the health care system to recruit the most competent practitioners by offering assurances that every person’s deepest held convictions of conscience will be respected.
  • It is personally important to you that Bill 207 be voted on and supported in the Legislative Assembly.

Let us not allow a small number of MLAs on the Standing Committee speak as a majority voice on conscience support in Alberta. Please share widely with your network of contacts, and continue to pray fervently for this bill’s success. Together with Mary, Our Lady of Perpetual Help, let us ask that our fundamental rights of conscience be protected.

In union of prayer,

CCMA Executive
https://catholicmedyyc.wordpress.com
http://www.facebook.com/catholicmedyyc  

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