MAiD is incompatible with hospices

Editor:

Re: MAiD would destroy sanctuary of Irene Thomas Hospice, letter to the editor, June 12

I stand by my statement that you do not need to have a fatal or terminal condition to be eligible for Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). This is a fact that is expressly stated in exactly those words on the Health Canada website (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/medical-assistance-dying.html). The three people who commented on my letter declaring that this was a false statement and pointing to the same website would learn that it is a fact if they actually read the website.

Certainly, eligibility requirements for MAiD are stated, but this is not one of them. Furthermore, proposed changes to the legislation introduced on Feb. 24, 2020 include repealing the eligibility requirement for a reasonably foreseeable natural death (https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/cj-jp/ad-am/text.html).

All of the above are reasons why MAiD is incompatible with hospices, which totally are for people with terminal or fatal conditions whose natural death is imminently expected. It is a place where they are kept free of pain and comfortable as much as possible, tended by understanding and kind staff and volunteers, who, in my experience, also tend to the grieving family members.

My father died of cancer in a small hospice in Calgary in 1999, so I know something about this. It was a privilege to be with him until his last breath. He was there about five days.

Kathleen Stewart

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