Vancouver, Canada, Feb 26, 2018 / 12:27 pm
Palliative care and hospice units are known for their life-affirming service to individuals who are facing the end of their lives, accompanying patients with dignity, comfort and meaning until their death.
However, the medical authority Fraser Health in Vancouver, the largest city of British Columbia, has opted to impose a physician assisted suicide provision in their palliative and hospice units, sparking criticism from the local bishop and the director of the facility's palliative care program.
"The government needs to immediately halt any efforts to force access to assisted suicide in facilities where caregivers – whether family, friends, or health-care workers or volunteers – selflessly attend to the sick and suffering," said Archbishop J. Michael Miller of Vancouver in a Feb. 22 statement.
"As a community, we must also ask ourselves where and why we are failing to provide for and accompany those who are dealing with lengthy illnesses or approaching death… we need to reach out to the suffering in our midst," Archbishop Miller continued.