Published: July 18, 2021
The Delta Hospice Society is trying to build anew less than four months after losing their ten-bed hospice due to a B.C. provincial directive that required medical assistance in dying (MAiD) to be offered onsite.
“No government money, no government land, no government interference, and most importantly – no government forced killings!” read the society’s statement on its new plans.
Society president Angelina Ireland told the Western Standard there is both great demand and need for the “sanctuary” they want to build.
“It would be a place where there would be no euthanasia allowed. No one would speak about euthanasia and people could come there from all over…to die in peace. We’d give them a proper palliative care experience as an authentic one. And they would be taken care of until their last breath,” Ireland said.
“We’ve spoken to people all over…People are very, very frightened. And so we think we’d better move forward and create a ‘safe space’ as the left just likes to call it, a safe space for the dying… because so many times you’re being harassed, coerced, pressured into accepting MAiD. So we want a place where people can go and never have to deal with that.”
The society made national headlines as its hospice would not offer MAiD onsite, though it would allow patients who chose death to have it administered a nearby hospital. The hospice building and operations were privately owned and operated but were built on government land. The Fraser Health Authority refused to renew the contract with the province to run the hospice, then unilaterally cancelled a 35-year land lease.
The hospice and accompanying supportive care centre, built with $8.5 million of private funds ten years ago, was closed March 29. On April 15, the health authority re-opened the hospice as a government-owned and run institution that would offer MAiD onsite.
Euthanasia advocates who oppose the society’s mandate attempted court action to disallow an online annual general meeting (AGM) and force one in person. However, on July 13, a judge ruled the membership could have a special online meeting to ask society members if they want a virtual/electronic AGM. If approved, the AGM is expected for September.