Fraser Health in British Columbia enforces participation in Medical Aid in Dying

Editor’s note. This comes courtesy of LifeCanada.

A recent directive from the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia has ordered all healthcare facilities to participate in euthanasia (Medical Aid in Dying–MAiD) including hospice and palliative care, exempting only religious institutions for the moment.

The well-known and respected medical director of the Fraser Health Palliative Care Program, Dr. Neil Hilliard, resigned stating that “euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is not in accordance with palliative care (which) “affirms life and regards dying as a normal process …”

This decision is an infringement on basic rights that protect workers within an institution to not be forced to participate in acts that they consider wrong.

LifeCanada’s executive director, Natalie Sonnen attended a meeting of over 400 concerned citizens in the Fraser Valley on February 10. The meeting featured MP Mark Warawa, MLA Mary Polak, and concerned medical workers from the Fraser Health Authority. You can view the entire meeting here.

At the meeting Kathy Derksen, the executive director of the Langley hospice recalled that Fraser Health had previously consulted with stakeholders and agreed it would not impose MAiD on hospice and palliative care facilities. They are calling this new move a bullying tactic.

This is a serious issue that can affect other jurisdictions across Canada.