BC Hospice faces funding cut over opposition to Assisted Suicide

Written By Elie Cantin-Nantel, Posted on June 13, 2020

A hospice in Delta, British Columbia, risks losing its funding from the NDP BC Government after deciding to stop administering euthanasia to their patients. The battle has been ongoing for months, with a vote to make the hospice a Christian organization set for June 15th.

This all started in December of 2019 when the Board of Directors of Delta Hospice Society voted to stop providing assisted suicide to the patients at the ten-bed Irene Thomas Hospice.

The NDP Government then asked Fraser Health to strip the Delta Hospice Society of the $1.5 million it receives annually, stating that the hospice was violating its policy, which says that hospice patients must be given access to euthanasia if they request it.

The Government’s Hospice policy was implemented in 2016, after Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Government legalized assisted suicide, following the Supreme Court of Canada ruling in the Carter v Canada case

BC’s health minister Adrian Dix says, “What’s of importance here, is that’s a choice, the last choice of an individual.” 

He also believes that the Hospice’s board was hijacked by a small group trying to impose their religious views on patients.

On May 29th, he put out a statement stating the decision to strip funding was final.

“Fraser Health will stop funding DHS on Feb. 25, 2021, having provided the required 365 days notice to end its service agreement without cause,” says Minister Dix.

“The contract had provided DHS approximately $1.5 million annually. This covered 94% of the society’s costs to operate ten beds at the Irene Thomas Hospice — a facility on land Fraser Health owns.”

“This decision to end this contract is final and will not change,” he says. “DHS can continue to provide hospice services until Feb. 25, 2021, if it complies with the existing contract.” 

This has raised concerns about conscience rights, especially within the Christian community. The National Telegraph reached out to BC MP Tamara Jansen, who is a strong advocate for conscience rights, for comment, and we received the following statement.

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Members of the Delta Hospice Society are now in the process of voting to become a Christian organization that  “furthers biblical principles governed by the Triune God.” This would solidify its pro-life views. 

If the vote is unsuccessful, then the BC NDP Government could seize the ownership of the hospice, and have it govern with its principles, which would include administering euthanasia.

The Campaign Life Coalition has started a prayer campaign for its hospice, and in an email sent to its members, it also accused the BC NDP of fascism. Stating that “Fascism has arrived in BC, in the form of a socialist government that is bold and unashamed as it imposes tyranny.”

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A decision on the hospice’s future is expected on June 15th and is likely to have an impact on the case for conscience rights in Canada.

Elie Cantin-Nantel

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