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BC hospice refusing to provide medically assisted dying must vacate premises

A hospice that has refused to provide medical assistance in dying based on religious objections will have to vacate a facility in Delta by the end of March.

Health Minister Adrian Dix joined two officials from the regional health authority in saying a contract with the Delta Hospice Society will end in accordance with the termination of its $1.5−million contract announced a year ago.

They say in a statement that Fraser Health will serve 30 days’ notice to the society on Feb. 25.

<who>Photo Credit: The Canadian Press

The statement comes a week after the society’s board sent layoff notices to all clinical staff at the hospice before the cancellation of its service agreement.

Angelina Ireland, board president of the Delta Hospice Society, did not return a request for comment.

Dix, along with Jim Sinclair, the chairman of the board for Fraser Health, and the authority’s president Dr. Victoria Lee, say access to hospice services is fundamental to people in BC.

They say they have strong support for their decision, which was not taken lightly.

"It is important for people at the end of their lives to have peace, comfort and choice related to their own health. We are committed to providing a public health system that includes a full range of options for people in our communities, including those in hospice settings."

Delta Mayor George Harvie says in a statement the issue of hospice care has deeply impacted residents of the city south of Vancouver.

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