British Columbia's latest move against a hospice facility shows that Canada is not meeting patient needs.
The government health agency in British Columbia has told Delta Hospice, a facility that provides palliative care until natural death, that it must start providing euthanasia by February 3, even though that is contrary to its charter to not hasten death. The situation is one that The Globe and Mail says highlights debate over whether publicly-funded facilities – including faith-based facilities that object to medical assistance in dying (MAID) on religious grounds – should be required to provide MAID as a condition of receiving government funds.
In British Columbia, faith-based facilities are not required to provide MAID but are expected to provide referrals.
Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition tells OneNewsNow Delta Hospice has made an offer.
"This has been a very serious situation because there is fear that the government might actually shut them down for not doing euthanasia," he explains. "So now they've come back and they've told the government that if you leave us alone, we're happy not to accept your funding so long as we don't have to kill people."
The funding amounts to $750,000.
Schadenberg says it was not so long ago that euthanasia was considered a crime called homicide.
"Only a few years later, if you're not willing to do euthanasia, then you're being told that you're an irresponsible physician, that you're abandoning your patients," he laments. "And if you're a hospice organization, they're telling you we're going to have to shut you down or take away your funding."
Meanwhile, the government says there is a need for more hospice care, only enough now to meet the needs of 30 percent of the population that wants comfort care until natural death.