Friday, January 8, 2021

Angelina Ireland statement concerning Delta Hospice Society layoffs and eviction.

My name is Angelina Ireland. I am the President of the Board of the Delta Hospice Society.

I came to the Society 7 years ago as a cancer patient and utilized the support services offered by the Society. I was very fortunate to recover to good health. I am like every other person involved in the Delta Hospice Society. We give it our heart, our time and our energy. Some of the friends I met in treatment did not recover and ended up passing away inside of this hospice. It is for people like them - who came before us and those that will come after us - that we have fought for the past 12 months to keep euthanasia out of this hospice.

Today the Delta Hospice Society has been forced to issue layoff notices to our clinical staff prior to us being pushed out of our own Hospice. We must inform them that we will no longer be their employer effective Feb. 24, 2021.

The board of DHS deeply regrets being compelled to take this action. Tragically, we have been left no other choice due to the cancellation of our service agreement and our 35-year lease, having 25 years remaining, with the Fraser Health Authority. We are about to be evicted and approximately $15 million in assets expropriated simply because we decline to provide Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD) at our 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner, British Columbia.

To be absolutely clear, we are not opposing the provision of MAiD in the B.C. health care system. We accept that MAiD is a legal service across Canada. However, nothing in Canadian law requires medically assisted death to be made available everywhere, any time, to everyone. The Constitution of our Society and our commitment to palliative care bars us from offering it. Neither the board of the DHS, the vast majority of our patients and members want to change that.

This is not a debate about MAiD. A person who wants MAiD can have it at the hospital next door to us. This is about the B.C. government destroying a sanctuary for dying patients who want the choice to stay in a facility where MAiD is not offered. They now find their rights to equal choice and representation revoked. They are being disenfranchised by the very system they pay for.

We at the DHS are committed to protecting the right to a sanctuary for equal choice at the end of life. We offered to forego $750,000 in public funding last February in order to operate as an authentic palliative care centre. The Fraser Health Authority rejected the proposal without negotiation. Instead it served us with what amounts to a one-year notice of eviction.

The Society has done all it can to have discussions with Fraser Health and provide creative solutions. It has done all it can to follow its service agreement and required legislation. Fraser Health has made no attempt to remedy the breach in the 30-year relationship with our Society.

We have always been recognized for our exemplary care. We ask journalists, legislators and the Canadian people to recognize and demand sanctuaries for the dying. Places where people can feel safe in their final days, where MAiD will not be suggested to them, where MAiD will not be administered to them and where their freedom as a citizen of this country is respected.

Today we call for “Hospice Sanctuary”.

Thank you


dee said...

What a horrible world we are becoming! Mad and sad!!

GvD said...

It is remarkable and shameful that a provincial health authority should trample on a legitimate and compassionate society because of ideological differences.

If we are to be recognized as a tolerant and pluralistic nation why should we not resist the heavy boot of of a tyrant that refuses to negotiate with a private society bent on doing nothing but good for the public at large. This type of tyranny must be stopped!