By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
For the past several months the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition has been writing about the plight of the Delta Hospice Society. The British Columbia Minister of Health, Adrian Dix, ordered the Delta Hospice to do euthanasia [“Medical Assistance in Dying”–MAiD] or lose government funding.
A similar situation exists in North Bay Ontario where the Nipissing Serenity Hospice is being pressured by four local euthanasia doctors to allow lethal injections on the premises. The Hospice, which only opened its doors on January 11, does not permit euthanasia on its premises. According to the North Bay Nugget:
The four medical providers of MAiD say they “absolutely disagree” with the hospice’s position that MAiD “is not one of the tools in the palliative care basket.”
Doctors Renee Gauthier, Mike Leckie, Paul Preston and John Seguin say in the letter MAiD “is, in fact, a tool, a very special, humane tool that thousands of Canadians have accessed and the Canadian government, under law, has permitted.”
The latest data indicates that there have been 4318 assisted deaths in Ontario for the period June 17, 2016 – December 31, 2019. Ninth-five assisted deaths were reported in the Nipissing region, which is in Northeastern Ontario.
Vivian Papaiz, chair of the Nipissing Serenity Hospice, told PJ Wilson of the North Bay Nugget that the Hospice has discussed the issue but supports the position of the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association and the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians.
In a joint statement, the CHPC and the CSPCP say MAiD and palliative care “substantially differ in multiple areas, including in philosophy, intention and approach.
Hospice palliative care focuses on improving quality of life and symptom management through holistic person-centred care for those living with life-threatening conditions. It 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.
Hospice organizations should not be coerced into providing euthanasia. Hospice and palliative care are different than MAiD and coercing hospice organizations to do euthanasia, fundamentally changes hospice.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.