Ottawa/Queen's Park



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Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker threw his support behind his colleague and MPP Jeff Yurek's bill to protect the conscience rights of doctors and other health care professionals in Ontario.

MPP Yurek's bill was an attempt to amend the compulsory referral policy in the government's medical assistance in dying (MAID) legislation by making participation voluntary for health care professionals. In other words, his amendments would have allowed health care professionals to opt out of MAID if it violated their conscience or religious beliefs, without facing punishment from their regulatory college.

"Bill 129 would have ensured access to MAID without infringing on freedom of conscience," said Walker, adding that other provinces, such as Alberta and British Columbia, achieved this with their self-referral models that respect patients' wishes while not infringing on freedom of conscience.

MPP Jeff Yurek's private member's bill on conscience rights was voted down May 18.

"No one should be forced to violate their conscience, yet that's exactly what this government is doing. By omitting protection of these basic rights, the Liberals are leaving Ontario doctors and health professional who object to MAID open to attack and retribution," said Walker.

source: media release, MPP Bill Walker


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