B.C. hospice looking at legal and other options after funding cut by province
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B.C. hospice looking at legal and other options after funding cut by province

A hospice society in British Columbia says it is outraged by the province's decision to stop its funding because it refuses to provide medically assisted death. British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix speaks before Premier John Horgan announces a new hospital would be built in Surrey, B.C., Monday, Dec. 9, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

VANCOUVER — A hospice society in British Columbia says it is outraged by the province’s decision to stop its funding because it refuses to provide medically assisted death.

Angelina Ireland, president of Delta Hospice, says there wasn’t any consultation between the care facility, Fraser Health and the Health Ministry.

On Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said Fraser Health will stop paying $1.5 million in annual funding to the Delta Hospice Society next year after giving the organization one year’s notice to end its service agreement without cause.

Ireland says if the government wants to implement medical help in dying then it should create facilities for people who want the procedure.

She says the hospice will look at its legal and other options to continue serving patients and families in their final days.  

In announcing the decision to cut off funding to the Delta Hospice Society, Dix said people the right to receive medical assistance in dying where they live and that decision.

B.C. developed its policy after the federal government made it legal in 2016 for patients to get medical assistance in dying under certain circumstances. The provincial policy requires a hospice to allow patients to access medical assistance in dying if its beds are more than 50 per cent publicly funded.

The contract with the hospice society covers 94 per cent of the cost to operate 10 beds at the Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, near Vancouver.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26. 2020.

 

The Canadian Press

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