LETTER to the Editor… Award hospice to non-profit, non-faith based org.

Dear editor,

Anyone with any understanding of end of life care would understand that our current situation with respect to our hospice within St Joseph’s Hospital is untenable. Many people have dedicated themselves to the creation and provision of hospice services in the Valley and to the facility located at St Joseph’s Hospital.

We are fortunate to have an excellent hospice that provides end of life support and care for the person dying and for the family.

No one involved at hospice would want anyone to decide to hasten their death but there are times when a person will need to decide to do that and it is within our law to have medical assistance in dying. Anyone who makes this difficult decision should be allowed to have access to do so within the hospice facility as part of the continuity of care that hospice provides.

St Joseph’s, for religious reasons, would require a transfer out of hospice and out of St. Joseph’s, if medical assistance in dying was requested and granted. This action goes against the philosophy of care and compassion that hospice offers to each person who accesses the hospice facility.

Transfers are not seamless, smooth actions. They are disruptive, horrific, and can be horrendous for the person dying and for the family. People are very vulnerable during this time and need all the support they can get in familiar surroundings rather than the anxieties and disruption of a move to something unknown.

Hospice care in our community shouldn’t be different from that offered in other communities on Vancouver Island. For this reason, St. Joseph’s/Providence should not be awarded the contract.

Further, a company such as Anbang Insurance, a Chinese company of murky origins, with no experience and questionable interest in senior care or hospice services, should not be awarded any further contracts such as the one awarded to them in the recent takeover of Retirement Concepts.

The contract should be awarded to a non-profit, non-faith based organization.

To those making these decisions, please choose wisely and carefully.

Marlene Zacharias



Comox Valley Record