By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
In February 2018, the Board of the Delta BC Hospice was given an Edict from Fraser Health to provide euthanasia (MAiD).
At that time, the Board of the Delta Hospice decided not to do euthanasia and continued its good work.
Recently, the newly elected Board of the Delta Hospice re-stated its opposition to euthanasia. The new board passed a resolution, “based on two independent legal opinions,” that
MAiD is not compatible with the Delta Hospice Society purposes stated in the society’s constitution, and therefore, will not be performed at the Irene Thomas Hospice.
However, a spokesperson for Fraser Health told the Delta Optimist that:
it fully supports a patient’s right to receive medical assistance in dying wherever they may be, including in a hospice setting.
The order by Fraser Health is contrary to the stated purpose of the Delta Hospice Society constitution.
If funding for the 10 bed hospice is stopped people in the community requiring care at the end of life, will lose the excellent care provided by the Delta Hospice.
By forcing the Delta Hospice to provide euthanasia, Fraser Health is also redefining the meaning of hospice/palliative care.
In its recent Call to Action, the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians stated that MAiD (euthanasia) is not a part of hospice palliative care. They stated:
MAiD is not part of hospice palliative care; it is not an “extension” of palliative care nor is it one of the tools “in the palliative care basket”. National and international hospice palliative care organizations are unified in the position that MAiD is not part of the practice of hospice palliative care.
…Hospice palliative care sees dying as a normal part of life and helps people to live and die well. Hospice palliative care does not seek to hasten death or intentionally end life.
If the Delta Hospice is forced to provide euthanasia then all Hospice Palliative Care organizations within Canada can be forced to provide euthanasia.
Hospice/Palliative Care is not MAiD. The Delta Hospice must not be forced to provide MAiD.
Fraser Health is overstepping its role as a health authority in forcing and bullying the Delta Hospice to provide MAiD.
Sign the petition: Hospice Organizations Must NOT be forced to do Euthanasia.
Editors note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.