I am a resident in Delta, a member of the Delta Hospice Society and the director of the Aquinas Hope International Society.
I personally witnessed the overthrow of the old board of directors during the elections last November. I believe the current members of the Delta Hospice board of directors are not imposing their personal views or beliefs on anyone. They were elected by us, the majority vote, to uphold the constitution of the society, which maintains that euthanasia is incompatible with hospice care.
I believe it was the previous board of directors who gave the Fraser Health Authority the go ahead to euthanize patients at the hospice. That decision was clearly rejected by the membership last November.
What would the Fraser Health Authority and Health Minister Adrian Dix do? They cannot legally dismiss the current board nor dissolve the society. If they do so, that would be a heavy-handed move for a government that has to show sensitivity to public opinion. They may pull all operational funding from the hospice; but they would likely be seen as the bully in this conflict.
I understand the present board of directors has offered a compromise – assume 51 per cent of the funding of the hospice themselves and decline the other 49 per cent funding from the Fraser Health Authority. That’s a financially responsible win-win solution for both sides.
Question: Why would Fraser Health Authority try to destroy a local humanitarian institution that has been treating dying patients and their families with dignity and respect for nearly 30 years?
Let the Delta Hospice Society continue treating dying patients and their families with dignity and respect. If it means not receiving financial support from the provincial Government, nor from the Fraser Health Authority, let it be.
It will still survive because God will help the society.