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

Interior Health reported 79 new cases of COVID-19 and two new death in the region Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (Ben Hohenstatt/Juneau Empire)
79 new COVID-19 cases, two deaths reported in Interior Health

Both of Friday’s deaths were both recorded at long-term care homes

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
RCMP investigating suspicious trailer found abandoned in Cache Creek

Hazardous materials believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs were found

The trustees of the Spences Bridge Improvement District argue that one reason the EV charging station (l) should be moved is because it could compromise emergency response from the nearby fire hall. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Time is running out for Spences Bridge EV charging station

Lease for the site runs out at the end of January and no new agreement has been reached

Areas in blue show properties in Cache Creek zoned C1, which the village’s Cannabis Regulatory Framework proposes as properties where retail cannabis stores could be sited. The area outlined with a dotted orange line shows a 200 metre buffer zone around Cache Creek Elementary School, within which no retail cannabis establishments could operate. (Photo credit: Village of Cache Creek)
Cache Creek council gets more input on cannabis regulations

Council considers options to regulate retail cannabis sales and production within the village

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Sunnybank in Oliver. (Google Maps)
Sunnybank long-term care in Oliver reports third COVID-19 death

The facility currently has an outbreak with 35 cases attached to it

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops. (Dave Eagles/Kamloops This Week file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Kamloops’ Royal Inland Hospital surgical unit

Despite 6 South being a surgical unit, RIH said surgeries are continuing at the hospital

Daily COVID-19 cases reported to each B.C. health region, to Jan. 20, 2021. Island Health in blue, Northern Health green, Interior Health orange, Vancouver Coastal in red and Fraser Health in purple. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays stable with 508 cases Friday

Vaccine delivered to more than 110,000 high-risk people

The District of Saanich’s communications team decided to take part in a viral trend on Thursday and photoshopped U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders into a staff meeting photo. (District of Saanich/Twitter)
Bernie Sanders makes guest appearance municipal staff meeting in B.C.

Vancouver Island firefighters jump on viral trend of photoshopped U.S. senator

School District 57 headquarters in Prince George. (Mark Nielsen, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter)
Prince George school district settles with sexual abuse victim

Terms were part of an out-of-court settlement reached with Michael Bruneau, nearly four years after he filed a lawsuit

Surrey provincial court. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
New COVID-19 protocols set for provincial courthouses

The new rules were issued on Jan. 21, and took effect immediately

Police in Vancouver looking for male suspect who allegedly spat and attacked a store manager for not wearing a mask, at 7-Eleven near Alma Street and West 10th Avenue just before noon on Dec. 17, 2020. (Vancouver police handout)
VIDEO: Man spits on 7-Eleven manager over mask rule, sparking Vancouver police probe

‘Unfortunately, the store manager sustained a cut to his head during the assault’

Most Read