A hospice society in British Columbia, Canada, is refusing to make provisions for physician-assisted suicide, which is legal in Canada, and is being forced to give up government funding for the hospice they operate.

The board of the Delta Hospice Society is opposed to medically assisted death on moral and philosophical grounds, though it is not affiliated with any particular religion.

According to the contract the society has with the government to operate the Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, a city that forms part of Greater Vancouver, funding will be provided for another year. But by February 25, 2021, the 10-bed facility will have to close.

“The Irene Thomas Hospice is dedicated to allowing patients access to expert symptom management for physical, emotional and spiritual distress,” the society said in a statement this past week. “It provides comfort, meaning, dignity and hope as one dies a natural death.” The statement expressed “shock and outrage” over the fact that the Fraser public health authority would “cut off all discussions and close the facility because it wants the hospice to provide MAiD (Medical Assistance in Dying) at every facility.”

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