The federal government legalized medical assistance in dying in 2016. (Needpix.com)

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Fraser Health has given a year’s notice that it will terminate its contract with Delta Hospice Society for refusing to provide medical assistance in dying.

The latest federal legislation and court rulings mean anyone is entitled to have their doctor attend at a facility such as the Irene Thomas Hospice, B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix said Tuesday. The hospice is located on Fraser Health property, rented to the society for $1 a year.

“We have made every effort to support the board to come into compliance and they have been clear that they have no intention to,” Dix said. “We are taking this action reluctantly, and when the role of the Delta Hospice Society concludes, patients in publicly funded hospice care will again be able to fully access their medical rights.”

Dix said most of the 3,000 B.C. residents who have used assisted dying since federal law changed in 2016 have done so at home. But home for many elderly people is a care facility and they have the same rights, he said.

RELATED: Residents pack Chilliwack forum to protest hospice change

RELATED: Langley MP takes on federal assisted dying regulations

Faith-based hospice societies remain exempt from the requirement to deliver medical assistance in dying, including St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, Dix said. But they have an obligation to refer people to a facility that offers it if they want.

Delta South B.C. Liberal MLA Ian Paton accused the province of “swooping in” to take the assets of the hospice society. Paton would not say if he supports the decision to provide medically assisted dying, a policy put in place by former B.C. Liberal health minister Terry Lake.

Dix said he is considering retaining the 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice under a new operator.

“Given the significant financial contributions Delta community members made to build the facility, this would be the most desirable option,” Dix said. “Alternatively, we could pursue another Delta site. In either scenario, the 10 hospice beds represented by the existing facility will stay in Delta.”


@tomfletcherbc
tfletcher@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

BC legislature

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19: School-based lunch programs expand to feed thousands during crisis

SD61 and community partners provide meals to 1,000 families per week

VicPD sees 29 per cent jump in thefts from cars in early April

Officers are reminding people to lock their vehicles, remove valuables

Foundation funds High Acuity Unit for Royal Jubilee Hospital to support COVID-19 patients

HAU provides level of critical care that can not be performed on other wards

Greater Victoria woman creates ‘call list’ for seniors to tackle loneliness

Call list allows seniors to have some friendly conversation during isolating times

B.C.’s COVID-19 rent supplement starts taking applications

$300 to $500 to landlords for April, May and June if eligible

B.C. unveils $5M for mental health supports during the COVID-19 pandemic

Will include virtual clinics and resources for British Columbians, including front-line workers

B.C. First Nations Health Authority launches virtual doctor program

Program to provide primary health care through COVID-19 pandemic

UPDATE: Canadians awake to extra COVID-19 emergency benefit money, feds clarify changes

The CRA and federal officials are working to clarify the confusion around payments

VIDEO: B.C. singer creates frontline workers tribute song

Cambree Lovesy’s song saluting those battling COVID-19 draws interest online

132,000 B.C. jobs lost just the start of COVID-19 impact, finance minister says

Finance Minister Carole James says ‘this isn’t the entire picture’

B.C. asking companies to contribute through online COVID-19 supply hub

New platform to co-ordinate, source, expedite supplies and equipment to support front-line workers

Controls can keep Canadian COVID-19 deaths under 22,000, health agency says

With poor containment measures, the death toll could be much, much higher, the agency says

Most Read