A screen displays a patient’s vital signs during open heart surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore on Nov. 28, 2016. A British Columbia hospice society that refused to offer medical assistance in dying has issued layoff notices to all clinical staff prior to its contract with the local health authority concluding next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Patrick Semansky

A screen displays a patient’s vital signs during open heart surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore on Nov. 28, 2016. A British Columbia hospice society that refused to offer medical assistance in dying has issued layoff notices to all clinical staff prior to its contract with the local health authority concluding next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Patrick Semansky

Layoffs at B.C. hospice that refused to offer medical assistance in dying

Fraser Health announced last year it would cancel the society’s contract, lease as of Feb. 25, 2021

A British Columbia hospice society that refused to offer medical assistance in dying has issued layoff notices to all clinical staff before its contract with the local health authority concludes next month.

The Delta Hospice Society board says in a news release that it deeply regrets “being compelled” to take the action due to Fraser Health cancelling its contract over its refusal to comply with a provincial policy requiring hospices to provide assisted death.

Fraser Health announced last year it would cancel the agreement and lease as of Feb. 25, 2021, pulling $1.5 million in annual funding that had covered most of the society’s costs to operate the 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, B.C.

At the time, Health Minister Adrian Dix said the government would work to ensure Delta residents still had access to those 10 hospice beds, either at the existing facility under public management or at a separate site.

Fraser Health and the Ministry of Health did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Chris Pettypiece, a former society board member and spokesman for a group called Take Back Delta Hospice, says the current board failed in its responsibility to provide palliative care to the community and has now failed as an employer.

Board president Angelina Ireland, however, says the provincial government is to blame for “destroying a sanctuary for dying patients who want the choice to stay in a palliative care facility where (assisted death) is not offered.”

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 exposure reported at Houston Secondary. (Houston Today photo)
COVID-19 exposure reported at Houston Secondary School

Self-monitoring for symptoms encouraged

The regional jobs picture has improved. (Innovate Impact Media/Creative Commons photo)
Northwest unemployment rate dips again

Is now second lowest of any region in B.C.

B.C. Representative for Children and Youth Jennifer Charlesworth (Black Press files)
B.C. watchdog says mentally ill children and youth retraumatized in hospital

The number of children held under the Mental Health Act has increased an alarming 162 per cent in past decade

(Pixabay photo)
‘Cocaine bananas’ arrive at Kelowna grocery stores after mix up from Colombia: RCMP

Kelowna RCMP recently concluded an international drug investigation after finding cocaine in local grocers’ banana shipments in 2019

A new video from NCCIH and BC Northern Health titled ‘Healing in Pandemic Times: Indigenous Peoples, Stigma and COVID-19’ was animated by Joanne Gervais. (Photo Provided By: NCCIH Archives)
VIDEO: Stigma against Indigenous people is a ‘social sickness’

A new short animated video is aiming to educate the public on the stigmatization

A pinniped was attacked by an unseen predator off the shores of Dallas Road Monday night. (Courtesy of Steffani Cameron)
VIDEO: Seal hunting, not being hunted in video shot off Victoria waterfront

Victoria woman captures footage of pinniped activity off Dallas Road

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau provides an update on the COVID-19 pandemic from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa on Tuesday, Jan. 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Trudeau vows to keep up the fight to sway U.S. on merits of Keystone XL pipeline

Canada’s pitch to the Biden team has framed Keystone XL as a more environmentally friendly project than original

The British Columbia Hotel Association (BCHA) sent out a sharply worded release late last week, in which it noted that the Tourism Industry Association of BC recently obtained a ‘legal opinion’ on the matter (Alex Passini photo)
Hotel associations push back against any potential ban on inter-provincial, non-essential travel restrictions

B.C. Premier John Horgan is seeking legal advice on banning non-essential travel

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
COVID rapid tests in long-term care key during vaccine rollout: B.C. care providers

‘Getting kits into the hands of care providers should be a top priority,’ says former Health Minister

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. turns to second doses of COVID-19 vaccine as supplies slow

Pfizer shipments down until February, to be made up in March

B.C.’s Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Training announced funding to train community mental health workers at four B.C. post-secondary institutions. (Stock photo)
B.C. funding training of mental health workers at four post-secondary institutions

Provincial government says pandemic has intensified need for mental health supports

Most Read