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Results: 1 - 15 of 34
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-19 16:14 [p.29402]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting three petitions to the House today from the constituents of the Yorkton—Melville area, as today is the very last day I will be in the House to do so before the summer break and ensuing federal election.
The first petition is signed by 85 petitioners who are calling on the government to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-06-12 15:29 [p.28998]
Mr. Speaker, I am presenting today one more petition on behalf of the member for Langley—Aldergrove. As members know, the hon. member is extremely ill, and palliative care is a very important issue to him. Unfortunately, he finds himself in circumstances of being in need of it. He needs our prayers as well.
The petitioners point out that hospice palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and assessment in the treatment of pain and other problems: physical, psychological and spiritual.
The petitioners point out that hospice palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, affirms life, regards dying as a normal process and intends neither to hasten nor postpone death. Hospice palliative care is not specifically mentioned in the Canada Health Act and is not accessible and available to all Canadians.
The petitioners request that the House of Commons specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act so that provincial and territorial governments would be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.
I know my colleagues—
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
CPC (SK)
View Rosemarie Falk Profile
2019-06-06 10:16 [p.28661]
Mr. Speaker, I rise today to present three sets of petitions.
The first set of petitions are signed by Canadians across the country who are gravely concerned with the shortage of quality palliative and end-of-life care available in Canada. These petitioners assert that it is impossible for a person to give informed consent to a physician-assisted suicide if appropriate palliative care has not been made available to them.
They are calling on the Government of Canada to create a national strategy to ensure that all Canadians have access to quality palliative care when they need it.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2019-05-29 16:38 [p.28236]
Madam Speaker, I rise to present two petitions today. The first one is with respect to hospice palliative care. It is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with a life-threatening illness through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification, assessment and treatment of pain and other physical, psychological and spiritual problems.
The petitioners are asking the House to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act, so that provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system, to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2019-05-29 17:33 [p.28240]
moved that Bill C-418, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (medical assistance in dying), be read the second time and referred to a committee.
He said: Madam Speaker, the first thing I would like to do is to thank the many people across Canada who have shown up to work on this bill. It has caught on across the country. It has restored my faith in the good judgment of Canadians and, hopefully, we will see that same good sense shown in the House and we can have some restored faith here as well.
I am here today to speak to Bill C-418, which is the protection of freedom of conscience act. I need to point out again that I am surprised at the way this has caught on and caught the attention of the Canadian public. We should thank many Canadians and groups for whom this is an important issue for their work on publicizing and advancing conscience rights in Canada.
To begin to understand Bill C-418, we need to back up a bit. The Charter of Rights and Freedoms has a number of sections in it. Section 1, of course, guarantees our rights and freedoms. However, immediately following that is section 2, which declares the most fundamental rights, and that begins with freedom of conscience and religion. In 2015, the Carter decision in the Supreme Court said that although section 7 of the charter provides for the right to die, it also explicitly said that no one is required to participate in or be part of it.
We then came to Bill C-14, the government's assisted suicide bill. It is a bill that attracted much attention and controversy and laid out the groundwork for the first round of assisted suicide legislation in Canada. Whether they call it euthanasia, medically assisted dying or assisted suicide, they are all different names for the same thing. Medical practitioners were divided on the issue of participating in ending the lives of Canadians. Whether we supported Bill C-14 or not, it was clear that many within the medical community were very concerned. They did not and still do not want to participate in this activity.
When Bill C-14 was passed, it included subsection 241.2(9) which did say, “For greater certainty, nothing in this section compels an individual to provide or assist in providing medical assistance in dying.” That was not adequate because it did not lay out an offence, there was no framework for it and there was no penalty in Bill C-14 if someone violated that. It ended up being nothing more than a statement in Bill C-14.
While the Liberal talking points have repeated this, and the Liberals also claim that everyone has freedom of conscience and religion under section 2 of the charter, this is not the reality that medical personnel are facing across Canada. In spite of the fact that on the surface the charter, Carter and Bill C-14 supposedly agree, the reality is that physicians and medical personnel in this country are being pressured to participate in something with which they fundamentally disagree and there is no protection provided to them.
Conscience forms the basis of medical professionals' motivation to pursue their particular field. Doctors practise every day with the knowledge that it is their conscience that motivates them to test the limits of their knowledge and skill. Medical professionals know that patient care will suffer if they are deprived of the ability to live with integrity and to follow their consciences. They know the importance of these beliefs to them and their patients better than anyone else.
For a great many Canadian doctors, the core of their conscience prohibits their participation in taking a life. Indeed, many doctors remain devoted to the black and white of the ancient Hippocratic oath, a pledge that prohibits the administration of a poison to anyone. Through the availability of assisted suicide on demand across Canada, threats to conscience are no longer confined to the theoretical or to the rhetoric of the courtrooms. They are increasingly present in the examination room as well.
That is why I believe it is time to take action in defence of conscience rights that have stood the test of time for generations. Therefore, Bill C-418 seeks to amend the Criminal Code to do two things.
The first is to make it an offence to intimidate a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the purpose of compelling them to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of physician-assisted suicide.
The second provision makes it an offence to dismiss from employment or to refuse to employ a medical practitioner, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or any other health care professional for the reason only that they refuse to take part, directly or indirectly, in the provision of physician-assisted suicide.
My bill would provide the teeth that Bill C-14 acutely lacks. The Liberals' attempt to provide protection for doctors consisted solely of a rudimentary clause, which stated, as I said earlier, that nothing compels someone to provide or assist. However, the provision lacked the teeth needed for its effective enforcement, as evidenced by the ongoing pressure that is being exerted on physicians, particularly by their regulating bodies.
I guess the question is whether these protections are really necessary, and I would say that they are. Throughout the legislative process, I have spoken to doctors who feel overt pressure to leave family medicine because of their conscientious beliefs. I have heard of palliative care doctors in Ontario who have stopped practising altogether. Nurses who feel increasingly bullied are choosing to shift their focus or retire early. I have had personal conversations with people who work in old folks' homes who explain they do not want to participate in this but are increasingly feeling pressured to do so. The pressure on these professionals exists and they are looking for relief.
What is more, regional associations such as the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario have introduced regulations compelling conscientiously objecting physicians to participate by providing what they call “effective referrals” for physician-assisted suicide. A recent court decision has upheld this directive, contravening the assurances provided in Carter v. Canada and creating an even more urgent need among physicians for protection. This is in spite of the fact that in this situation in Ontario I am told that the majority of physicians support an allowance for conscientious objections, but the college has not taken that position.
As strange as it sounds, the recent court decision refers to the college's suggestion that if physicians do not like to participate then they can find other areas of medicine to take up. This is unusual, particularly in a situation where we have such a shortage of physicians and medical services. The college suggests that if they do not like participating they can take up things like sleep medicine, hair restoration, sport and exercise medicine, skin disorders, obesity medicine, aviation examinations, travel medicine or perhaps become a medical health officer.
For many of us across this country, particularly those of us in rural areas, we know there is an increasing lack of physicians in an increasingly challenged medical system. I find it passing strange that the college would be the one suggesting such a thing for its physicians. The answer does not have to be to do it, find someone else to do it or get out of medicine. Medical personnel and resources are scarce. Why would one try to force people into doing what they believe to be wrong? The example of the province of Manitoba and its conscientious objection legislation shows there does not need to be compulsion in the medical system when it comes to this issue.
My bill does not address the social acceptability of euthanasia and assisted suicide; that is not the point of it. Protecting physicians' conscience rights is not at all a physicians versus patients scenario. By protecting physicians' conscience rights, patients' rights are enhanced. Bill C-418 is about protecting the fundamental freedom of conscience and religion guaranteed to all Canadians in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Parliamentarians from all parties cannot ignore the groundswell of support this bill has received from average Canadians who believe it is time to stand up for doctors and health care providers who are not willing to leave their core ethics behind when they are at a patient's bedside. This is not theoretical. I have had photos sent to me of the revolving TV screens that we see in hospital wards, with pictures of what seems to be a physician's hand gently resting on the arm of a senior citizen, touting assisted suicide as a medical service whereby physicians or nurse practitioners help patients fulfill their wish to end their suffering and a phone number is provided. Interestingly, it makes no mention of palliative care or other ways to reduce pain and suffering. It makes no mention of access to counselling.
With government, the courts and health care facilities promoting access as a right, should not those who object be allowed to have that fundamental freedom of conscience that is so important?
I want to close with a quote from “The Imperative of Conscience Rights” by the CRFI. They write:
The outcomes of the current controversies that engage freedom of conscience will not only signal the extent to which Canadians can conscientiously participate in public life—in other words, whether they can live in alignment with who they are and what they stand for in matters of morality. These outcomes will also speak volumes about who we are and what we stand for—as a society. Suppressing beliefs with which we disagree or that we find offensive in the name of tolerance and liberalism is a contradiction in terms. The fact that the state has deemed something legal does not remove a person’s freedom to express her moral opposition to it. This freedom is not absolute, but its roots—integrity, identity, and dignity—are necessary for human flourishing. These roots must therefore be top of mind whenever limitations on freedom of conscience are proposed. We believe that governments should only limit this human right if there is a compelling justification.
View Kelly Block Profile
CPC (SK)
View Kelly Block Profile
2019-05-16 10:20 [p.27910]
Mr. Speaker, I am also honoured to rise to table nine petitions on behalf of hundreds of residents of Saskatchewan and British Columbia. The residents believe that hospice palliative care improves the quality of life for patients and relieves their suffering, pain or illness, but that it is not accessible enough or available to all Canadians.
The petitioners call on the Government of Canada to identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act and to dedicate funds under the Canada health and transfer system to be used in providing available hospice palliative care to Canadians in all provinces and territories.
I trust the government will deal expeditiously with the concerns of these citizens as well.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2018-05-24 10:19 [p.19558]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to rise on behalf of my constituents and present three petitions this morning.
The first petition notes that the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion calling on the government to create a national strategy on palliative care to ensure that every Canadian has access to high quality palliative care at the end of life. The petitioners note that the Supreme Court of Canada ruled that competent and consenting adults who have a grievous and irremediable medical condition that causes enduring and intolerable suffering should be allowed to access physician-assisted suicide or euthanasia. They note it is impossible for a person to give informed consent to assisted suicide if appropriate palliative care is unavailable to them. Therefore, they are calling upon Parliament to establish a national strategy on palliative care.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2018-03-19 15:22 [p.17661]
Mr. Speaker, I rise on behalf of a number of people in my riding who are very concerned about hospice palliative care. They believe it improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness. Palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, and affirms life regarding dying as a normal process that intends to neither hasten nor postpone death.
Unfortunately, it is not specifically mentioned in the Canada Health Act, and it is not accessible and available to all Canadians. Therefore, petitioners are calling on the government to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered by the Canada Health Act, so that provincial and territorial governments would be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.
View Georgina Jolibois Profile
NDP (SK)
Mr. Speaker, I would like to table a petition calling on the government to identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act. Signatories of this petition would like to see provincial and territorial governments entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system to specifically make hospice palliative care accessible to all residents of Canada.
View David Anderson Profile
CPC (SK)
View David Anderson Profile
2017-09-26 10:06 [p.13500]
Mr. Speaker, I have a petition from the folks around the Lafleche and Gravelbourg area in my riding. They request the House of Commons to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act, so provincial and territorial governments can then provide accessible and available hospice palliative care to all residents in their jurisdictions.
View Randy Hoback Profile
CPC (SK)
View Randy Hoback Profile
2017-06-12 15:43 [p.12474]
Mr. Speaker, the third petition is in regard to hospice care, and patients and families.
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
CPC (SK)
View Cathay Wagantall Profile
2017-04-13 12:27 [p.10518]
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to stand today to present this petition that states: “Whereas hospice palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing the problems associated with life-threatening illness, through the prevention and relief of suffering by means of early identification and assessment and treatment of pain and other problems, physical, psychosocial and spiritual; and whereas hospice palliative care provides relief from pain and other distressing symptoms, affirms life, regards dying as a normal process, and intends neither to hasten nor postpone death; and whereas hospice palliative care is not specifically mentioned in the Canada Health Act; and whereas hospice palliative care is not accessible and available to all Canadians; we, the undersigned, residents of Canada, request the House of Commons in Parliament assembled to specifically identify hospice palliative care as a defined medical service covered under the Canada Health Act, so that provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to funds under the Canada health transfer system to be used to provide accessible and available hospice palliative care for all residents of Canada in their respective provinces and territories.”
View Gerry Ritz Profile
CPC (SK)
Madam Speaker, I have a great petition here from 100 or so members of my constituency, from Battlefords and North Battleford.
The petitioners call on the government to take palliative care seriously, to actually follow through on some of the promises it has made, and to ensure that this is covered under the Canada Health Act so the provincial and territorial governments will be entitled to the funding that is required for it.
View Gerry Ritz Profile
CPC (SK)
Mr. Speaker, it is a pleasure to rise on behalf of the constituents of Battlefords—Lloydminster to present two petitions.
The first petition calls upon the government to implement the palliative care package of $3 billion over four years that it had campaigned on. The first year has passed, and we are already behind. Therefore, 100-plus petitioners are asking the government to move forward on that expeditiously.
View Andrew Scheer Profile
CPC (SK)
View Andrew Scheer Profile
2016-06-16 11:06 [p.4606]
Mr. Speaker, I will be sharing my time with the hon. member for Sherwood Park—Fort Saskatchewan.
I will be brief. I want to speak to a few of the amendments the government has chosen to accept and also express a few words of caution.
I want to thank the minister for keeping the language as tight as possible. “Reasonably foreseeable” is a much better situation than “grievous and irremediable”. As this is such a fundamental change to our society, we do not want to open the door to assisted suicide in such a manner that a large number of people who may be suffering from physical or mental ailments would have access it.
I understand the slight wording change on the palliative care amendment. It is important that any patient make an informed decision, whether it is about something as simple as a normal medical procedure, but certainly in a situation like this of such a grave and serious matter. In essence, as this may be the last decision some people make, making an informed decision is critically important. Knowing what other options there might to alleviate of pain as well as palliative care are also so important.
I hope the government will work with the provinces in the coming months and years to establish a robust palliative care regime so this type of decision is not made without having real and practical options to extend life in as comfortable a manner as possible, while understanding the significant challenges that are often placed on family members.
I wish the government had included the amendment that dealt with beneficiaries of estates or insurance policies not being able to participate directly in the act of assisted suicide. That is an important amendment to keep. This is going to be a new thing in Canada and we do not know how it will unfold, so having some kind of safeguard in place to avoid pressure being put on people to make this decision is important.
Many members may be familiar with the Terri Schiavo case in Florida. It was a bitter dispute with a lot of allegations all around. One of the facts that came out was that one of the family members pushing for end of life care to be withdrawn from Terri Schiavo was a beneficiary of an insurance policy. That conjures up gloomy images of what might happen to people who do not wish to end their life and are not able to either grant consent or put up opposition to it and have those decisions made for them.
I want to touch on a few comments that are troubling to me. I have heard comments made by government members and the minister about how this is a first step and that this could be expanded in the future. Those types of things very much concern me. The House is taking this decision because of a court decision. The Supreme Court of Canada reversed its original decision that upheld the laws against assisted suicide and has thrown this on to Parliament.
I understand the need that the government had to fill in this legal vacuum, and I commend it for using the language “reasonably foreseeable” and not “grievous and irremediable”. However, I am wary about what might be coming down the pike. It really worries me when people talk about this being a first step. I shudder to think where this might go. If this type of regime is opened up more, people who may be going through difficult times in their life, maybe temporary difficulties, both physical and mental, will access it.
I hope we have created a tight box that will not be expanded. I will be watching in the future and will do everything I can to ensure that this is not expanded, and I hope many of my colleagues will do the same. I do not want to go down the road of what has transpired in some European countries where this is used in a much more aggressive and expanded way. Many times it involves vulnerable people or people with severe disabilities who are not able to communicate their desires and other family members or other caregivers make that decision for them.
Canada could be going to a very dark place if this is a first step. If it is filling in that legal void and we have created a strict enough and a tight enough box around it, then I hope this is as far as it goes. I will be doing everything I can to ensure that is the case.
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