Health Minister Adrian Dix. (The Canadian Press)

Health Minister Adrian Dix. (The Canadian Press)

Delta Hospice looking at legal and other options after funding cut by province

Health Minister Adrian Dix said Fraser Health will stop paying $1.5 million in annual funding to the Delta Hospice Society

A hospice society in Delta 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 the Delta Hospice Society, said the funding was abruptly cancelled without consultation between the care facility, Fraser Health and the Health Ministry.

“So, this is like a decree sent out against our society,” she said in an interview Wednesday.

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

The government should not be allowed to put medically assisted death “on the backs” of facilities that provide hospice and palliative care services, she said.

“This is like going to a pizza place and telling them you better make me some Chinese food,” Ireland said.

“That’s not what they do. You need to go to a Chinese restaurant and ask them to make you Chinese food.”

READ MORE: B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Over the past three years, three people have asked for medically assisted death at the hospice, she said.

“All I can say is they were transferred out to their preferred location — two went home and one went next door to the Delta Hospital, one minute away,” she said.

“We facilitate a transfer as is the practice in a hospice and palliative care facility. We have no training to provide euthanasia.”

Delta Hospice will look at its legal and other options to continue serving patients and families, Ireland said.

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

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.

Ireland said palliative care beds in the province are becoming scarce.

“We are gravely concerned for the future of hospice and palliative care in British Columbia,” she said.

Hina Alam, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Health

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

Just Posted

Delta Police Constable Jason Martens and Dezi, a nine-year-old German Shepherd that recently retired after 10 years with Delta Police. (Photo submitted)
Delta Police dog retires on a high note after decade of service

Nine-year-old German Shepherd now fights over toys instead of chasing down bad guys

A tow truck works to pull a dump truck from a ditch at 176 Street and 40 Avenue, following a two-vehicle incident Tuesday (Jan. 19) afternoon. (Aaron Hinks photo)
PHOTOS: Dump truck, car collide in South Surrey

Intersection – 176 Street and 40 Avenue – was site of 2019 fatal collision

Police on the scene of a homicide in South Surrey’s Morgan Heights neighbourhood earlier this month. (Tracy Holmes photo)
Crime Stoppers received more than 500 tips related to gang activity in 2020: report

Metro Vancouver organization “urging local residents to keep providing anonymous tips”

In 2017, a member of the Disneyana Fan Club curated a small Community Treasures exhibit at the Museum of Surrey about the early days of Disney and the cartoonist Walt Disney. The museum is now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibition. (Photo: Submitted)
Museum of Surrey wants to spotlight local organizations and clubs

Museum now accepting applications for its 2022 Community Treasures exhibit

Syringe is prepared with one of B.C.’s first vials of Pfizer vaccine to prevent COVID-19, Victoria, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 caseload stays steady with 465 more Tuesday

No new outbreaks in health care facilities, 12 more deaths

New Westminster TV production designer, Rick Whitfield, has designed an office in a box for British Columbians in need of a private workspace. (BC Box Office photo)
PHOTOS: B.C. man designs ‘box office’ solution for those working from home

‘A professionally designed workspace on your property, away from the distractions of home’

Chilliwack ER doctor Marc Greidanus is featured in a video, published Jan. 18, 2021, where he demonstrates and describes effectiveness of various styles of masks. (Youtube)
VIDEO: Emergency room doctor runs through pros and cons of various masks

‘We’ve been asked to wear a mask and it’s not that hard,’ Greidanus says.

(Pixabay photo)
VIDEO: Tip to Metro Vancouver transit police helps woman 4,000 km away in Ohio

Sgt. Clint Hampton says transit police were alerted to a YouTube video of the woman in mental distress

A woman types on her laptop in Miami in a Monday, Dec. 12, 2016, photo illustration. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Wilfredo Lee
British Columbia government lax on cybersecurity practices, auditor reports

The audit did not highlight a specific threat, but it found breaches in cybersecurity are increasing globally

A child joins the Uke ‘n Play kickoff event at the Chilliwack Library on Oct. 1, 2016. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Events return, in virtual form, at Fraser Valley Regional Library

People can take part in ukulele jam, bullet journaling, reading groups and more

Cranbrook Food Bank coordinator Deanna Kemperman, Potluck Cafe Society executive director Naved Noorani and Sunshine Coast Community Services Society executive director Catherine Leach join B.C.’s new Municipal Affairs Minister Josie Osborne on a video call about B.C. gaming grants, Jan. 19, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C. gaming grants reorganized for COVID-19 priorities

Minister highlights community kitchens, food banks

(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

People wearing face masks to curb the spread of COVID-19 walk past a window display at a store in downtown Vancouver, on Sunday, December 13, 2020. The association representing businesses across Metro Vancouver says the costs of COVID-19 continue to mount for its members.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Greater Vancouver business organization says members face uncertain outlook in 2021

Many Greater Vancouver businesses are barely treading water as they enter 2021

Most Read