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Leaders meeting to remove Delta hospice board for denying end-of-life service

Last Updated Jun 4, 2020 at 6:00 am PDT

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

A meeting with municipal, provincial and federal politicians concerned about a Delta hospice

The hospice is refusing to provide medical assistance in dying

The society will lose $1.5 million in funding next February if it does not abide by provincial policy

DELTA (NEWS 1130) — Delta‚Äôs mayor says all levels of government are coming together to try and fix the controversial situation at the Delta Hospice Society, which is losing its funding because it refuses to allow medically assisted dying at its facility.

George Harvie says after getting hundreds of complaints from people in the community, he, Health Minister Adrian Dix, and the region’s MP and two MLA’s are coming together to figure out how to remove the society’s board. Although a date is yet to be set.

“We all agreed to work extremely hard, collectively, to try to ensure that our Delta hospice returns the way it was. And the only way we can do that is by having the current board out,” Harvie says.

The province has already promised to take away a $1.5-million grant annual grant in February of next year, but Harvie wants to know what’s going to happen between now and that time, saying residents need to be cared for.

“My concern and other elected officials is, what’s going to happen between the period now, and February of 2021, when they have to get out? Who’s looking after the care? Who’s judging the care? The people in charge aren’t qualified. We can’t see how they got in there.”

The society has scheduled a special phone and ballot meeting so members can vote to change its constitution to say Christian morals prevent the hospice from providing the end-of-life service that was legalized in Canada four years ago.

But Harvie says hundreds of citizens have memberships in the society revoked or denied before the vote set for June 15.

Angelina Ireland, president of the society, has said the private group has the right to deny the service based on its principles.