B.C. society against medical assistance in dying gets final notice to vacate property

DELTA, B.C. — A provincially funded society that refused to provide medical assistance in dying has been issued a final notice about its breach of a lease at a facility in Delta, B.C.

Fraser Health says it has ended its $1.5-million annual service agreement with the Delta Hospice Society, which was originally notified a year ago to vacate the premises.

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The health authority says in a release it will take possession of the lands and buildings on March 29, but that could happen earlier if the society is agreeable.

Fraser Health says plans are underway to ensure hospice beds can be reopened at the Irene Thomas Hospice within two weeks after the lease is terminated.

The society's stance against a federal medical assistance in dying law introduced in 2016 is based on members' religious views.

Fraser Health has said it's working to ensure unionized hospice staff who received layoff notices will have the chance to work within the health authority if they choose.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 26, 2021.

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