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Health minister says Delta hospice could see consequences if it continues to deny assisted death

Last Updated Dec 11, 2019 at 3:59 pm PDT

Suite in the Irene Thomas Hospice, with Delta Hospice Society. (Courtesy, Delta Hospice Society)

The health minister is watching closely as a Delta hospice refuses to allow its patients to receive an assisted death.

Health minister Adrian Dix says the Delta Hospice Society must honour the terms of its contract with Fraser Health

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) – The provincial government is suggesting it will take action if a publicly-funded Delta hospice continues to refuse its patients an assisted death.

B.C.’s health minister Adrian Dix points out the Irene Thomas Hospice, with Delta Hospice Society, receives public funding, and is expected to comply with the rules set out by Fraser Health.

RELATED: Delta hospice refuses assisted death, sets worrying precedent: advocates

“The funding is from the public, and from the public healthcare system. There are 10 beds, and it’s our expectation that Delta Hospice will come to terms with that,” he says. “What’s of importance here, is that is something that’s a choice, the last choice of an individual.”

If it doesn’t comply, he suggests the province may step in.

“Should they not want to fulfill their contract with Fraser Health, there may well be consequences to that, but I’m hopeful that they would do that,” he says.

Fraser Health has met with facility operators to stress that it must allow for assisted death, and is working to enforce the rules.

– With files from Liza Yuzda