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2nd Session, 41st Legislature

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Bill 34

THE MEDICAL ASSISTANCE IN DYING (PROTECTION FOR HEALTH PROFESSIONALS AND OTHERS) ACT


Table of Contents Bilingual version (PDF) Explanatory Note

(Assented to                                         )

WHEREAS in response to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter v Canada (Attorney General), the Parliament of Canada enacted amendments to the Criminal Code to permit individuals to avail themselves of medical assistance in dying in certain circumstances;

AND WHEREAS various matters related to medical assistance in dying are within provincial jurisdiction, including the regulation of health care professionals;

THEREFORE HER MAJESTY, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba, enacts as follows:

Definitions

1           The following definitions apply in this Act.

"medical assistance in dying", "medical practitioner" and "nurse practitioner" have the same meaning as in section 241.1 of the Criminal Code (Canada). (« aide médicale à mourir », « infirmier practicien » et « médecin »)

"member of a regulated profession" includes, without limitation, a medical practitioner and a nurse practitioner. (« membre d'une profession réglementée »)

"professional regulatory body" means a body that has a statutory duty to regulate a profession. (« organisme de réglementation d'une profession »)

Conscience-based objection — providing medical assistance in dying

2(1)        A medical practitioner or nurse practitioner may refuse to provide medical assistance in dying on the basis of his or her personal convictions.

Conscience-based objection — aiding in providing medical assistance in dying

2(2)        An individual, including a member of a regulated profession, may refuse to aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying on the basis of his or her personal convictions.

Professional regulatory body's rules cannot require participation

2(3)        For greater certainty, a professional regulatory body must not make a regulation, by-law, rule or standard that requires a member of the regulated profession to provide or aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying.

No disciplinary proceedings

3(1)        The registrar or executive director of a professional regulatory body must dismiss a complaint about the conduct of a member of the regulated profession, or a part of such a complaint, if the registrar or executive director is satisfied that the complaint or part relates solely to the fact that the member refused to provide or aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying on the basis of his or her personal convictions.

Complaint may deal with other matters

3(2)        For greater certainty, subsection (1) does not apply to any part of the complaint that deals with any other matter related to the member's conduct.

No adverse employment action

4           An employer must not take adverse employment action against an employee because that employee refused to provide or aid in the provision of medical assistance in dying on the basis of his or her personal convictions.

C.C.S.M. reference

5           This Act may be referred to as chapter M92 of the Continuing Consolidation of the Statutes of Manitoba.

Coming into force

6            This Act comes into force on the day it receives royal assent.

Explanatory Note

In Carter v Canada (Attorney General), the Supreme Court of Canada declared unconstitutional the prohibitions of the Criminal Code against aiding and abetting a person to commit suicide or consenting to having death inflicted upon them. In response, Parliament enacted amendments to the Code to permit medical assistance in dying in specific circumstances.

Under the federal legislation, no one is compelled to participate in medical assistance in dying. Under this Bill,

  • an individual can, without disciplinary or employment repercussions, refuse to participate in medical assistance in dying because of personal convictions; and
  • a professional regulatory body cannot require its members to participate in medical assistance in dying.