By Danny C. | DCPeriodical | 11/19/19 |
What the hell is happening in Alberta? First Wexit, now this.
Imagine going to an emergency room with life threatening injuries and being told your lifestyle infringes against the only doctor available’s religious beliefs, and therefore you won’t be helped. Well, as much as that situation might be a rare worst-case-scenario, Alberta’s Conservative government is in the process of making it completely legal.
Bill 207, or ‘the conscience rights bill,’ was originally introduced by Alberta’s Universal Conservative Party (UCP) MLA from Peace River, Dan Williams, who is just one of many Alberta politicians who serve as a reminder as to why theocrats who want Canada to be governed by the bible should be removed from positions of power immediately.
You may know Dan from posting the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms on his Twitter, only to have every comment underneath point out that he clearly doesn’t understand what it says.
This could be no more apparent than by what Bill 207 proposes. Under the guise of providing health professionals ‘conscience rights protections,’ it actually leaves room for so much medical discrimination it could (and should) make your head spin.
“If a health care provider or religious health care organization determines that their conscientious beliefs would be infringed by providing a specific health care service to an individual, the health care provider or religious health care organization is not required to provide that health care service to the individual.”–BILL 207, CONSCIENCE RIGHTS (HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS) PROTECTION ACT.
‘Conscientious beliefs,’ it specifies, means ‘religious beliefs, moral and ethical values and cultural traditions.’ It’s worded nicely, as if it were based on instilling freedoms, but let’s look at it logically.
So far the Canadian media and protesters of the bill have been focusing on the issues of abortion, contraceptives, and euthanasia. These issues are, after all, where the motivation of the bill comes from.
It comes on the heels of a ruling from Ontario’s highest court in May, which said that doctors who oppose the above procedures based on their religion don’t have to perform them, but they do have to give a referral to a doctor who will.
This new Alberta bill specifies that the words ‘”health care service”..includes the provision of a formal or informal referral.’ In other words, they don’t have to refer the patient to someone who could help them.
But really, this bill has much more dangerous ramifications. All one needs to do is observe how vague the wording is. It doesn’t mention the words ‘abortion,’ ‘contraceptives,’ or ‘euthanasia’ even once. It simply says a medical professional (or organization) can cite religious reasons as to why they’re not going to treat a patient, no matter what the procedure or level of urgency to have it done may be.
When working out a law, it’s imperative to factor in what possible worst-case-scenarios could arise where the law negatively affects an individual’s freedoms or well being. Let’s go through a couple of the thousands of hypotheticals we could come up with to magnify the trouble with Bill 207.
Let’s say a gay person in one of Alberta’s many one-horse-towns (one-doctor-towns) gets in a car wreck. It would be legal for a bigoted emergency physician to let this patient bleed to death and cite the Book of Leviticus, which calls homsexuality an ‘abomination,’ as their justification for doing so—’If a man has sexual relations with a man…they are to be put to death’ (Lev 20:13)—and this doctor would be able to continue his career unchallenged.
After all, if the physician’s god personally says that gays are abominations who must be put to death, what could be a bigger infringement on this doctor’s religion than being forced to save the gay person’s life, in turn doing the complete opposite of what their god commands?
Likewise, a Muslim doctor could turn away a Christian in an emergency, as the Koran states to ‘kill the idolaters wherever you find them’ (9:5). A Jewish doctor could cite the Talmud and Maimonides—’it is forbidden to save the life of a [gentile]’—for why they allowed a Muslim to bleed to death (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Murder 4:11).
It’s no secret that once you get down to the actual texts of almost every religion, they’re all about being superior and wishing the deaths and eternal torture of any non-members. That’s what actually believing you’re ‘chosen’ is all about. Out in Alberta they want to make this insanity legislation.
Of course, let’s not mince words, Jews make up 0.3% of Alberta’s population, while Muslims make up 3%. This bill was drafted by and for members of Alberta’s towering religious demographic, Christians, who make up well over half of the province, the majority of whom are fundamentalist Catholics.
Just look at the Jesuit University failure who leads Alberta’s UCP on this bill. Jason Kenney, a premier raised in Catholic schools, eventually growing to be a young man spearheading a movement that fought against the free-speech policy at his San Francisco university, even appearing on CNN for his role in the fascist initiative.
Kenney was also a member of Stephen Harper’s cabinet; the government which introduced Bill c51, which literally strips all of a Canadian’s charter-afforded rights away from them in the name of suspected ‘terrorism.’
Last year at this time Kenney was being humiliated over an audio clip circulating of him bragging about how he fought tooth-and-nail eighteen years ago in San Francisco to end ‘gay adoption,’ ‘taxpayer-funded abortions,’ and gay marriages.
A few months later, Kenney was exposed by the same person, lawyer Kyle Morrow, with more leaked audio of him bragging about overturning a San Francisco law that ‘permitted gay men to visit their dying partners in the hospital during the AIDS epidemic.’
When exposed for making these despicable remarks, Kenney was forced to apologize, stating he had ‘evolved’ in the eighteen years since the recordings.
In turn, his apology triggered the ultra-right Christian movement Campaign Life Coalition to slam him, warning Kenney he was losing his social-conservative support by caving.
Between the biology-ignorant pro-lifers and the Alberta Wexit movement—started by a former Christian Heritage Party candidate—crying about Alberta leadership not being as far-right as they’d like to be, Kenney clearly made Dan William’s Bill 207 his main priority to show these fanatics that all of that ‘I’ve evolved’ talk was just to win his provincial election. He’s now reassuring them he’s still the discriminatory theocrat he was eighteen years ago. Nothing’s changed but his weight.
I asked a few conservative friends of mine throughout the day what they thought of the bill. They all liked it. I then asked if they thought it was right that a physician could legally refuse to perform emergency procedures on a patient by citing religious infringement. They all answered unanimously. To quote one specifically, he said, ‘yup. Find another doctor.’
That answer is the embodiment of the modern far-right conservative. Most of them are members of a religion that touts itself as compassionate, yet they show no compassion, and egotistically label anyone who does a ‘snowflake’ or ‘libtard’ for expressing and exercising common, empathetic human decency.
Their’s is the movement of anti-gay, anti-poor, anti-liberal, anti-Muslim, anti-environment, anti-transgender, anti-abortion, anti-immigration, anti-refugee, anti-equality. They never take the time to consider in all this chaotic animosity that egotistical, angry individuals who display signs of impaired empathy and remorse faculties are typically referred to as ‘psychopaths’ in the field of psychology.
Now, granted, we don’t know if any doctors will turn anyone away in an emergency situation and cite their religion as the reasoning. Doctor’s, at least, swear by the Hippocratic Oath to put the patient’s needs before their own, regardless of their sexual orientation, religion, creed, race, age, or gender. Hopefully all Alberta health professionals keep that oath, and terrible situations like our worst-case-scenario—or any other of the many forms of discrimination this bill green lights—don’t occur.
However, the point here is this: they could. That’s where the problem lies. That’s why Bill 207 should not be law, nor should the people trying to make it law be trusted to serve in government one second after they vote in favor of it, which they already have once.
After all, let’s not play dumb. The theocratic drafters of Bill 207 clearly foresaw these hazardous possibilities when they wrote it. That’s why they specified that the bill will ‘protect health care providers…from being subject to a claim for damages’ as as result of their refusal to treat someone. That’s the clause to protect against lawsuits from people they’re expecting to be negatively affected through this travesty of legislature.
But we can’t fault them for being unclever. They designed the bill to make it appear as if it was written to protect section 2(a) of the Charter—freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief, opinion and expression. Let’s just hope enough Albertans are smart enough to see that those are the exact freedoms this bill is liable to negate, and put a stop to this extremist disgrace before it’s official Alberta law.
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