Langley Hospice Society board president Kathy Derksen (left) (Langley Advance files)

Langley Hospice Society formalizes its opposition to medically assisted dying directive

The local hospice board wanted to hold a discussion before making a public statement.

The Langley Hospice Society continues to oppose medical assistance in dying (MAiD) being imposed on hospice and palliative care facilities, and the board has now issued a statement to the Fraser Health Authority.

“Whilst the Langley Hospice Society board has no control over the Fraser Health directive…, our board of directors is not supportive of Fraser Health’s December directive. We have taken the time we needed for informed discussion,” said board president Kathy Derksen.

The local hospice society is one of those opposing Fraser Health’s decision to have MAiD available all its care facilities. All B.C. health authorities has issued the same mandate to their hospice and palliative care facilities.

• Read about the recent meeting where local politicians vowed to keep up their opposition to MAiD

Langley Hospice Society board statement:

To Fraser Health Authority – MAiD directive December 2017

• The Langley Hospice Society will continue to uphold our constitution, bylaws and mandate to provide palliative care for dying people and their families in a supportive environment, which means that we plan to continue upholding our founding mission and philosophy of care that we value life and accept death as a normal process and that we “neither hasten nor postpone death.”

• The Langley Hospice Society recognises the right for all Canadians to have access to information about end-of-life options, including MAiD. However, we do not recognise that this right is a superior right to the recognised philosophy of hospice and palliative care. We do not believe that MAiD should be implemented in hospices.

• The Langley Hospice Society is concerned that there was no consultation whatsoever by Fraser Health with hospices in their December 2017 directive that MAiD would be implemented to patients already in hospice requesting the procedure. We are also concerned that Fraser Health could seek to provide an even larger mandate for MAiD to be implemented in hospices under any and all circumstances.

• We are concerned about the adverse consequences, emotional and otherwise that the Fraser Health December 2017 directive has had; first and foremost to the patients, clients and families we serve and also, to our Langley community, donors, potential donors, hospice volunteers and staff.

• We are very concerned that logistically, the current ‘Interim Langley Hospice ’ does not facilitate the procedural, practical and confidential requirements for the implementation of MAiD.

• We believe that as a non-faith based hospice, Fraser Health should provide Langley Hospice with the same “Exemption Option” it has provided to faith-based hospices as the Fraser Health mandate is in direct opposition to our mission and philosophy to “neither hasten nor postpone death”. Not granting an exemption to do so is discriminatory.

• We believe, most importantly, that it is critical that significant resources be made available by Fraser Health to educate the general public in MAiD as well as the true purposeof hospice and palliative care as reflected in our mandate and long standing, universal founding philosophy of hospice care.

• Read about the position of the South Peace Arch Hospice Society on MAiD

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