03 Jun 2020 Canada’s lack of strategy in targeting COVID-19 led to unnecessary crisis in long-term care homes

By Anna Nienhuis Long-term care facilities house some of our society’s most vulnerable: those who need help eating, using the bathroom, or simply turning over in bed. The fact that some of our elders are facing neglect and abuse from those meant to care for them incites justifiable outrage. We need to ask what can be done to improve long-term care and assisted living. But we also need to ask how our governments’ (federal, provincial, and municipal) responses to COVID-19 contributed to this. Long-term care homes were known to be high risk Outbreaks...

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caring for others during covid-19

02 Apr 2020 Society waking up to what it means to think of others

Just a few short weeks ago, we shared with you our grave concerns about Bill C-7, a bill introduced to expand euthanasia to those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. This bill would make even more Canadians eligible for, and thus vulnerable to, euthanasia. Thankfully, with Parliament temporarily suspended on account of COVID-19, this bill has also been put on hold. In this holding period, the events unfolding around us have been astounding when we think of the shift in language and behaviour toward the most vulnerable. When hordes of young...

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13 Dec 2019 Euthanasia: Permitted not Mandated

By Levi Minderhoud   Recent news articles have recounted the fight between Fraser Health and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, BC. Already back in 2016, Fraser Health – the local health authority responsible for serving 1.8 million British Columbians in the Lower Mainland – dictated that all hospices must provide euthanasia. After an outcry by citizens and hospices, Fraser Health softened its directive by allowing faith-based hospices to continue to live out their mission of neither hastening death nor intentionally ending life. Fraser Health still required non-denominational hospices to provide euthanasia. The Irene...

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29 Nov 2019 What’s going on with Bill 207, Alberta’s conscience rights bill?

  *UPDATE (added Dec. 5): On Monday, December 2, while MLA Dan Williams was speaking on Bill 207, a tragic incident occurred outside the Assembly, which then adjourned. Consequently, Bill 207 was delayed. It will likely be revisited in February 2020, once the legislature resumes. Last week, an Alberta legislative committee voted against Bill 207.  So, is Bill 207 dead? Not quite. Ordinarily, a bill gets debated in the Assembly at second reading. Then, if it passes the “second reading vote”, it goes to an appropriate committee for closer study, where amendments are often...

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20 Nov 2019 Dispelling myths about Alberta’s conscience rights bill

  Bill 207, tabled by Alberta MLA Dan Williams, now faces fierce opposition. The bill proposes protections for health care providers’ freedom of conscience. It is scheduled for a vote at second reading on Monday, November 25. It deserves to pass and proceed to committee for further review and possible improvements.   Bill 207 does not threaten access to health care The primary line of attack is that Bill 207 threatens “access to health care”. “Imagine … a patient being denied access to a therapeutic abortion even if the woman’s life is in danger,”...

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07 Nov 2019 New Alberta bill offers robust protections for freedom of conscience

    We have encouraging news. Dan Williams, MLA for Peace River, Alberta, tabled a bill today that would protect both individual health care providers and health care facilities from being required to provide services that conflict with their religious beliefs, conscientious beliefs, ethical judgment, or cultural traditions. One of the bill’s stated purposes is to provide certainty to health care providers and religious health care organizations with respect to exercising their Charter-protected freedoms of conscience and religion. This is greatly needed in a time when both individual providers and religious health care...

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