Friday, January 8, 2021

Media Release: Delta Hospice Society - Layoffs and Eviction.

Members of the media are urged to view the attached video link that explains why the Delta Hospice Society has been forced to issue layoff notices to all clinical staff prior to our role concluding inside our Hospice effective Feb. 25, 2021. 

Link to the Press release (Link). Link to the youtube message: (Link).

The board of DHS deeply regrets being compelled to take this action. Tragically, as the video and the attached background document make clear, we have been left no other choice due to the Fraser Health Authority canceling our service agreement and 35-year lease. Fraser Health is about to evict us and expropriate approximately $15 million of our assets simply because we decline to euthanize our patients at our 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner, B.C.

To be clear, we accept that the provision of MAiD is an elective, legal service across Canada. Nothing in Canadian law, however, requires medically assisted death to be made available everywhere, at all times, to everyone. The Constitution of our private Society and our commitment to palliative care, bars us from offering it. Neither the board of the DHS, nor the vast majority of our patients and members want to change that.

“This is not a debate about MAiD,” says board President Angelina Ireland. “A person who wants MAiD can have it at the hospital right 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 palliative care facility where MAiD is not offered. They now find their rights to equal choice being revoked. They are being disenfranchised by the very system they pay for."

Ireland notes the DHS has been so committed to protecting the right to a sanctuary for the dying that it 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 DHS with a one-year notice of eviction with the intent to expropriate its assets.

“The Society has done all it can to have discussions with Fraser Health about the conflict with its Constitution. It has done all it can to follow its service agreement and required legislation. Fraser Health has made no attempt to understand the 30-year relationship with the Society, which has always been recognized for its exemplary care,” says founder and former Executive Director Nancy Macey.

Journalists and the Canadian public at large are urged to recognize where that approach has led: working notice slips for dedicated palliative care employees, and the destruction of a sanctuary for the dying. The Society is dedicated to the future of palliative care and is continuing with its supportive care services such as: bereavement counseling, vigils, spiritual care, volunteer coordination, education, social work and the many other ways it provides care directly to the community.

To arrange interviews, please contact:
Angelina Ireland, President Delta Hospice Society Board,


Kathy said...

This is an outrage! As a retired hospice RN, I have always bee proud to stand up for our dying patients, knowing that the role of hospice is to provide comfort and compassionate care up until the time when God calls a person home. People the world over have come to trust in that goal. I will be happy to sign in support of Delta Hospice. This world is too quickly becoming a death cult and it has to stop here.

Sally Fingas said...

This action by the Fraser Health Authority amounts to theft of the assets of the Delta Hospice Society. They are using their power to bully a small society which has a moral obligation to provide palliative care without resorting to euthanasia. Their patients and families are fully aware of this when they choose Delta Hospice for their end-of-life care. This is a shameful act of aggression by a publicly funded administrative body. So much for 'freedom of choice'. It only works when the choice is that of the current power structure.

Lisa said...

Assisted suicide is NOT compatible with the philosophy and goals of hospice palliative care, as traditionally defined. The two should be kept separate. Targeting a small place that's being true to its mission of offering bona fide hospice care is unconscionable. Most hospices have lengthy wait lists, too--of people who actually want palliative care, rather than unnatural death ASAP. Mixing MAiD with hospice/palliative care is also an affront to many staff who work in those settings and take pride in, and experience great fulfillment from, helping people to live as fully and as comfortably as possible for whatever time they have left to live. That is completely different from helping people to die. And no, it's not just semantics, it's about philosophical differences (and for some people, also ethics and morality). Not surprisingly, many hospice workers don't want anything to do with MAiD. What an untenable position some highly skilled and dedicated staff are finding themselves in. Do they stay or do they go? If the latter, where can they go in the hospice/palliative care sector without facing similar conflict and perhaps also moral distress, now or in the near future??