Another doctor voicing concerns re. hospice

Another doctor voicing concerns re. hospice

Dear editor,

I would like to voice my concerns about St. Joseph’s setting up hospice beds in their new plan.  It would not be in the interests of our community to have St. Joseph’s supervise hospice beds given their refusal to follow federal law on medically assisted death, as set forth in the Supreme Court Carter decision and the law allowing medical assisted death recently enacted by the federal government.

I realize the desire of the hospital to obtain the money from CV Hospice, but it would be a disservice to the Hospice and the many volunteers, supporters and businesses who spent many hours and donated large sums of money to set up and run the current hospice facility.  It would be a poorly run hospice that did not allow the full benefits of care and assistance to people at the end of life.  That would include, where appropriate, the use of medically assisted dying.

It is inappropriate for a hospital paid for with taxes to refuse care to the people of the community because of the hospital’s beliefs.  St. Joseph’s would be welcome to enforce its religion on patients if it was a self-supporting institution, but it is not.

We are paying for a new hospital that will allow all aspects of end-of-life care, and I see no reason to also pay St. Joseph’s for partial care.  While I respect the right of people to have different religious beliefs, an institution paid for by the public should not be bound by such beliefs.

As a grief and end-of-life counsellor for many years, I cannot support money going to St. Joseph’s that is meant for a fully functional hospice.  We are an open society and need to respect the beliefs of all, including the right to die on one’s own terms with the assistance of the medical community, and not dictated by one particular belief.  Please keep the Hospice separate from the Catholic Church.

Dr. J. Earl Rogers, JD, PsyD