Wednesday, February 14, 2018

British Columbia (BC) Health Authority orders hospice to do euthanasia.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Sign the Petition: Killing Conscience Rights in BC Hospitals and Hospices.


 The recent edict by the Fraser Health Authority in British Columbia ordering (non-religious) healthcare facilities to participate in euthanasia (MAiD) including hospices is an infringement on the conscience rights of the medical staff. I believe that:
Institutional conscience rights are about the rights of the workers within an institution to not participate in acts that they consider wrong.
Delta Hospice
The edict by Fraser Health directly effects institutions such as the Delta Hospice that is opposed to participating in euthanasia. 
Janice Strukoff, an administrative leader with the Delta hospice stated:
“Hospice palliative care is not about hastening death and we object to the bullying currently taking place in B.C.,”
Nancy Macey, the founder and executive director of the Delta hospice stated:
MAiD can be a traumatizing experience for staff, patients, and volunteers, and all groups might not want to stay or work there if the principals of palliative care are compromised. Hospices are already grappling with a shortage of health professionals so compelling the society to provide MAiD could exacerbate the problem.
Dr Neil Hilliard
In response to the order by the health authority, Delta hospice rejected the order and Dr Neil Hilliard, the medical director of the Fraser Health Palliative Care stated in his resignation letter:

Providing euthanasia or physician-assisted suicide is not in accordance with palliative care (which) “affirms life and regards dying as a normal process …”
Last weekend a meeting in Langley BC concerning the forcing of euthanasia upon medical facilities against the staff decision to not participate in MAiD. 

Sign the Petition: Killing Conscience Rights in BC Hospitals and Hospices.


The meeting attracted 300 people and featured federal MP Mark Warawa and provincial MLA Mary Polak, along with representatives from the Fraser Health Authority. At the meeting Warawa commented that the battle to protect conscience rights: "is not over. It's just begun." Warawa also stated:
“That (permitting MAiD) will destroy palliative care as it has developed,”
Mary Polak
Mary Polak was forthright in her comments by stating:

“To say that you are going to place medical assistance in dying — or let’s call it what it is, killing people. Sorry, but that is what it is — (and decide that) you’re going to put that into a hospice palliative circumstance, is to completely contradict what palliative care is to begin with,”
The decision of the Fraser Health Authority also affects plans to build a new hospice in Langley. Kathy Derksen, the executive director of the Langley hospice stated:
When MAiD was first law, Fraser Health consulted with stakeholders and agreed it would not be imposed on hospice and palliative care facilities.
Healthcare workers conscience rights have become a national issue in Canada. Recently, an Ontario Court decided that doctors who oppose euthanasia must participate by doing an "effective referral" for euthanasia.

Dr Will Johnston eloquently explained the pressures that are faced by medical professionals in his article: The alarming trend of forcing hospitals and hospices into doing assisted suicide.

5 comments:

Peter Elliott said...

How does the'right' to have someone kill you where you are staying trump the right to live where no one will kill you?

zipszoo said...

This is a backward argument and can have plenty of implications on other issues and in other areas: "Institutional conscience rights are about the rights of the workers within an institution to not participate in acts that they consider wrong."

What you should say is "participation in acts that they consider wrong can be prevented by their right to not work within an institution/job that might otherwise require them to do something they consider wrong."

Peter Elliott--no one is saying what you're implying! That is an over-the-top, unthinking, nonsensical thought. No one is killing anyone randomly as you imply. Having well regulated MAiD available does not mean that other people are going to be killed. Other patients in hospice are not going to have to lay in their beds fearing they will be murdered.

It has been decided that Canadians have the right to have input and even the final say in their own death. Reasonable and effective precautions and systems have been put in place. It is the right of a patient to seek hospice care and it should also be their right, that if hospice is no longer meeting their needs, that they can invoke MAiD.

Unknown said...

Where will they work when all institutions are required to do what they consider wrong?

Wieslawa said...

Euthanasia is not health care All people with terminal illnesses do not think clearly as they have depression. . I feel sorry for them they do not know what they requested, however I resent those providing MAID they are very confused as not able to distinguish right from wrong. I will never trust those who provide MAID . Those can not face arguments that MAID is wrong.

Dianne said...

zipszoo is not considering the fact that the experience in Belgium shows that despite the existence of those so called "safeguards", there are people who have been euthanized against their will and that this is increasingly a problem. Forcing hospices and medical professional into participating in MAiD, violates their consciences and sets the stage for the slippery slope syndrome, where those institutions and health professionals could eventually be forced to kill people who do NOT want their lives ended prematurely. To protect everyone's rights in this regard, MAiD should be administered in centres specifically set up for this purpose and in which people willingly work there and to which patients voluntarily go. Even then, it is risky, because relatives of ill people could bully them into going.

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