LETTER: Retired Langley nurse speaks out against hospices forced to assist with dying

A letter writer criticizes Fraser Health for ‘breaking its promise’ and forcing hastening of deaths.

Dear Editor,

Re: Fraser Health Authority’s decision to force Hospice facilities to provide doctor assisted suicide

The federal government passed a bill last year to fund monies to increase palliative care for our Canadians, giving them options that many right now do not have.

Since doctor assisted suicide (DAS) was passed through the courts, Canadians have been lobbying this as they choose not to hasten their death through euthanasia.

One hospice (Delta) has been working with the hospital to transfer patients wanting doctor assisted suicide back to areas outside of hospice/palliative, where there are trained personal willing to do this task.

There are reported 25 cases, only over 18 months, that this service was required.

This has been running smoothly, so why the change?

Fraser Health Authority (FHA), under new management, has recently mandated that all hospice/palliative care facilities must perform DAS to patients who choose this option, and no longer paying to send them to designated areas.

This is the only area in the province, and no other province in Canada is doing this.

This destroys the whole concept of what the World Health Organization has defined palliative care to mean – to neither hasten nor prolong natural death but offer comfort to patients and families until this occurs.

As a retired nurse, who worked in Maple Ridge for 30 of my 37 year career, I was proud to see the concept of palliative beds designated in the hospital, as well as the building of the hospice centre to cater to the needs of the community.

This opened beds for the acute and aided patients to live their last days in comfort, helping to bring closure for their families.

I felt privileged to work for a progressive organization, FHA, which brought this to fruition.

READ: Langley’s Conservative MP says hospice shouldn’t have to provide assisted suicide

I was also affected by several friends, whom I assisted – along with hospice, to live their last days at home as comfortable as possible until their natural deaths occurred.

Today, I am appalled at this new direction where FHA is destroying the very fabric of the hard work of so many professionals and volunteers with this mandate.

It is an oxymoron to have Doctor Assisted Suicide in the centres where they neither hasten nor prolong death.

At a time when health dollars are tight, I see this a ploy to force communities to pay out of pocket for free standing hospice centres that have no government funding.

This country was built by seniors and they have a right to have their tax dollars support and keep them comfortable until their natural deaths (their choice). There are not enough beds now to assist those wanting help.

It is time for the government to use tax dollars for all Canadians, not just a few who choose to opt out of life too soon.

I want my tax dollars to go toward funding palliative care/hospice, where there is no threat of accidently or deliberately having our deaths hastened.

Where is the health care that I and many others were promised by the bill supporting an increase in palliative beds as a choice?

Brenda O’Scienny, Langley

Just Posted

Early morning fire at Langley City factory

Two-alarm fire at CKF Products

Incident at Langley gas station sends one to hospital

What appeared to be an exacto knife seen at scene

Spartans take silver at U SPORTS games

TWU women’s soccer team edged by Gee-Gees Sunday in Ottawa

Dog’s death on busy road raises fears

A hit and run by a large truck has a community concerned.

LETTER: Canada should not be selling weapons abroad

A Langley man is critical of Canada for selling arms that are being used to kill civilians.

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Around the BCHL: Surrey Eagles sliding and Cassidy Bowes flows

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

Pit bull cross, chihuahua owners must split costs for dogfight damage, judge rules

Eac side responsible for $577.43 towards injuries in Comox Valley incident

3 random words mark every spot on earth

Innovative mapping system assigns three word combinations to 57 trillion 3 metre squares

Most fatal overdose victims did not have recent police contact: Stats Canada

11 per cent of those who fatally overdosed in B.C. had four or more contacts with the police

5 to start your day

One left dead after Abbotsford shooting, touching note left on Langley veteran’s windshield and more

Calgarians head to the polls to declare ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ on Winter Games

The question “are you for or are you against hosting the 2026 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games?” was to be posed to them Tuesday in a plebiscite to help determine whether the city should move ahead with a bid.

Heir’s big birthday: 70 candles lined up for Prince Charles

Prince Charles turns 70 Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018, still serving in the heir to the throne role he has filled since he was a young child.

Trudeau lays down challenge to companies in bid to boost trade with Asia

“Building the relationships, building the connections, building the facility and also changing mindsets — getting Canadian companies to see the opportunities we have around the world to partner and invest.”

Most Read