Vancouver, Canada, Jan 22, 2020 / 11:00 am
A Canadian hospice is at risk of losing its government funding over its refusal to euthanize patients who request an "assisted death."
Fraser Health Authority, a publicly-funded organization responsible for administering healthcare for 1.6 million people in the western Canadian province of British Columbia, is ordering the Irene Thomas Hospice, a 10-bed hospice facility, to offer euthanasia to its patients.
The hospice is operated by the non-profit organization the Delta Hospice Society, which is opposed to Canada's "Medical Assistance in Dying" ("MAiD") laws.
In September 2016, about three months after euthanasia became legal in Canada, Fraser Health introduced a new policy which required all hospices receiving more than 50% of provincial funding for their beds to offer euthanasia to their residents. The hospice receives $1.4 million of its $3 million operating budget from the Fraser Health Authority, and Fraser Health funds all 10 of the beds at Irene Thomas Hospice.