NRL News

Canadian Hospice faces eviction

by | Jan 11, 2021

Shuttered for Refusing Euthanasia 

By Wesley J. Smith

I have written here before about Delta Hospice in British Columbia, which has been under unremitting pressure by the government of the province — including a funding cutoff — only because it refuses to participate in euthanasia. It is now being forced to lay off clinical workers and faces eviction. From the press release:

The board of DHS deeply regrets being compelled to take this action. Tragically, as the video and the attached background document make clear, we have been left no other choice due to the Fraser Health Authority canceling our service agreement and 35-year lease. Fraser Health is about to evict us and expropriate approximately $15 million of our assets simply because we decline to euthanize our patients at our 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner, B.C.

To be clear, we accept that the provision of MAiD [Medical Assistance in Dying] is an elective, legal service across Canada. Nothing in Canadian law, however, requires medically assisted death to be made available everywhere, at all times, to everyone. The Constitution of our private Society and our commitment to palliative care, bars us from offering it. Neither the board of the DHS, nor the vast majority of our patients and members want to change that.

Euthanasia — killing patients — is directly antithetical to the hospice philosophy as established by the modern movement’s founder, the late Dame Cecily Saunders. Indeed, when I interviewed her for my book, Culture of Death, she told me that assisted suicide denies the intrinsic equal dignity of terminally ill patients.

Not only that, but there is a hospital directly next door to Delta where patients can go to be lethally injected, so it isn’t as if suicidal patients won’t be able to obtain their desire to be made dead.

But that isn’t the problem. Delta’s stand sends the moral message that human life has intrinsic value and that medicalized killing is wrong. We can’t have that. The culture of death brooks no dissent.

Editor’s note. Wesley’s great columns appear at National Review Online and are reposted with his permission.

Categories: Hospice