A facility for the aged is at risk of losing its public funding due to its refusal to kill patients who request “assisted suicide.”
The story reported by Catholic News Agency on January 22, 2020 is chilling. Fraser Health Authority, the public authority responsible for administering health care to 1.6 million people in the Western Province of British Columbia, Canada, demands that the Irene Thomas Hospice (ITH), a modest palliative care facility with a capacity of 10 beds, offer euthanasia to patients in the same way as any other care—or risk losing its accreditation and its funding.
The hospice is operated by a non-profit association, Delta Hospice Society, which courageously opposes existing Canadian laws on assisted suicide.
Since September 2016, a few months after the legalization of euthanasia in Canada, Fraser Health requires all public institutions for the elderly to be in a position to euthanize their patients as soon as their state funding reaches at lease 50%.
For the moment, private Catholic establishments caring for the elderly are not affected, but for how long?
Léonie Herx manages the Canadian Association of Palliative Care Physicians. According to her, “powerful lobbies” want to extend the obligation imposed on health professionals to offer euthanasia to establishments managed by the Church: “denominational institutions may well be the next targets,” she explains.
In Canada, during the first ten months of 2018, 2,613 people at the end of their lives were “euthanized.” Four times the number of homicides committed during the same time period.