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Vancouver, Canada, Jan 22, 2020 / 11:00 am (CNA).- A Canadian hospice is at risk of losing its government funding over its refusal to euthanize patients who request an “assisted death.”
Fraser Health Authority, a publicly-funded organization responsible for administering healthcare for 1.6 million people in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, is ordering the Irene Thomas Hospice, a 10-bed hospice facility, to offer euthanasia to its patients.
Hospice - Organization - Delta - Hospice - Society
The hospice is operated by the non-profit organization the Delta Hospice Society, which is opposed to Canada’s “Medical Assistance in Dying” (“MAiD”) laws.
In September 2016, about three months after euthanasia became legal in Canada, Fraser Health introduced a new policy which required all hospices receiving more than 50% of provincial funding for their beds to offer euthanasia to their residents. The hospice receives $1.4 million of its $3 million operating budget from the Fraser Health Authority, and Fraser Health funds all 10 of the beds at Irene Thomas Hospice.
Healthcare - Organizations - Professionals - MAiD - Patients
Faith-based healthcare organizations, as well as medical professionals opposed to MAiD, are not required to euthanize patients in Canada. Doctors, however, must refer patients seeking an “assisted death” to a healthcare provider who is willing to euthanize them. The Delta Hospice Society is not affiliated with a religion, but is opposed to euthanasia as a matter of principle.
Euthanasia is readily available at Delta Hospital, which is a one-minute drive or four-minute walk away from the Irene Thomas Hospice.
Dr - Leonie - Herx - Physician - President
Dr. Leonie Herx, a palliative physician and the president of the Canadian Society of Palliative Care Physicians, told CNA that less than 30% of Canadians have access to palliative care.
Unlike other healthcare services, including MAiD, which are fully funded and accessible to all by the Canada Health Act, disability care, palliative care, and homecare services are not guaranteed or accessible everywhere....
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