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Health Minister Kelvin Goertzen has introduced legislation on assisted dying. Goertzen says Bill 34 protects health providers who choose not to participate in assisted dying.

"The bill is intended to ensure that doctors, nurses and other medical professionals, who have an objection to participating in medical assistance in dying, can object without worrying about 2017 03 kelvin goertzenHealth Minister Kelvin Goertzenany repercussions to their jobs, any repercussions from their college that they might be under, to ensure that their rights in terms of objecting, whether those are based on faith-based objections or objections for any other reasons, are respected and that ultimately they are protected from having to participate in a medically-assisted death."

Goertzen acknowledges some of these protections are included in the federal legislation and explains why his government wants a provincial law on the books.

"Health care, generally, is a provincial responsibility in terms of its provision and also in terms of its regulation. So medical professionals in Manitoba are governed under self-regulation, generally, and those are creatures of the provincial legislature and provincial statutes so, providing that protection provincially, we believe, provides the protection that ultimately health professionals need."

Goertzen notes many medical professionals have come to him to express concern about the assisted dying law and he wants to take action now to protect them and prevent any problems in the future. He adds the law will also assure those who are considering going into the medical profession that these protections are in place for them, they they can refuse to participate in assisted dying procedures with no repercussions.

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