Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen spoke on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, against proposed amendments to MAiD that would make more groups eligible, calling the Senate amendments a ‘Frankenstein bill’ (House of Commons video image)

Cloverdale-Langley City MP Tamara Jansen spoke on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, against proposed amendments to MAiD that would make more groups eligible, calling the Senate amendments a ‘Frankenstein bill’ (House of Commons video image)

OPINION: The grim future of palliative care in British Columbia

Takeover of Delta Hospice by Fraser Health is a major step toward the dismantling of palliative care in B.C.

By Tamara Jansen, MP for Cloverdale Langley-City

The Fraser Health Palliative Care Program was once recognized by Dr. José Pereira, co-founder of Pallium Canada, as one of the three best palliative programs in Canada.

This is no longer the case.

Today, Delta Hospice had its own building taken away by the Fraser Health authority for refusing to offer MAID on its premises, despite it being available in the neighbouring building.

Dr. Neil Hilliard, former Program Medical Director of the Fraser Health Palliative Care Program, recently testified at Senate as part of a study on Bill C-7, a bill to expand access to euthanasia for those not near death, and his submission was an eye opener.

Dr. Hilliard walked the Senate through the sad story of how after the implementation of MAID at the federal level in 2016, and the election of an NDP government in BC in 2017, we saw the speedy dismantling of our top-notch Palliative Care Program, which led to resignations and loss of service.

Although “Fraser Health-led patient and family focused research in the palliative approach to care was recognized internationally as a leader in its research in treatment of intractable symptoms at the end of life, such as treating unbearable pain or distressing confusion,” things began to fall apart quickly.

In his submission, Dr. Hilliard testified that “The Fraser Health solution to providing enough resources for MAID has included using scarce palliative care resources for the provision of MAID.”

SEE ALSO: Proposal to expand groups eligible for MAiD called a ‘Frankenstein bill’ by MP Tamara Jansen

SEE ALSO: MP Tamara Jansen backs bill to allow doctors to refuse MAID

Dr. Hilliard explained that in the beginning, the Fraser Health guideline was for a doctor to only discuss MAID with a patient once they initiated a request. However, he stated that now “there are known incidents of MAID being offered by physicians to patients on first presentation to the emergency department as an option to relieve suffering.”

So, it would appear that before ensuring that patients are receiving access to adequate medical interventions, we are now offering euthanasia as a first option.

Most Canadians may not even be aware that Canada has a Framework on Palliative Care that states that a request for physician-assisted death cannot be truly voluntary if the option of palliative care is not available to alleviate a person’s suffering.

By redefining palliative care to include the provision of MAID, access to palliative care has been compromised.

Today we see a continuation of this destructive policy with the takeover of Delta Hospice which has been fighting to hold true to their original mission, to help patients live their best life until their natural death.

We seem to be forgetting that palliative care and MAID are fundamentally separate practices. Every Canadian palliative care organization, international palliative care organization, and the WHO maintain that palliative care is not intended to hasten or postpone death, but rather to attend to a patient’s physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

Fraser Health has been militant in their insistence that all hospices (except faith-based) make space for what is not even considered palliative care by the World Health Organization. They have refused all attempts by Delta Hospice to find a compromise.

And so, we arrive at today. That slippery slope we heard about back in 2015 is starting to look a whole lot like a runaway freight train.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleFederal PoliticsLangley Citymedical aid in dyingNorth Delta

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

President of the West Coast Fine Arts Show, Brian Croft, said pandemic restrictions necessitated a shift to an entirely online event this year, running until April 30. (File photo)
The West Fine Art Show shifts to an online-only event amid tighter health orders

Website version retains the flavour of the annual live exhibition

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

A new saline gargle test, made in B.C., will soon be replacing COVID-19 nasal swab tests for kids. (PHSA screenshot)
Take-home COVID-19 tests available for some B.C. students who fall ill at school

BC Children’s Hospital plans to provide 1,200 kits to Vancouver district schools this April

Ruming Jiang and his dog Chiu Chiu are doing fine following a brush with hypothermia that saw several people work together to get them out of the Fraser River near Langley’s Derby Reach Park on March 25, 2021 (Special to the Advance Times)
Man finds men who rescued him from drowning in B.C.’s Fraser River

A grateful Ruming Jiang says he will thank them again, this time in person when the pandemic ends

The 10-part Netflix series Maid, which is being exclusively shot in Greater Victoria, was filming near Prospect Lake in Saanich last month. (Photo courtesy Fred Haynes)
Province announces $150,000 towards film studio, fulfilling B.C. NDP promise

Investment to fund movie studio feasibility study at Camosun College

Most Read