Editorial: When hospitals interfere with rights

A local doctor has made national headlines for his stance on doctor-assisted death.

Dr. Jonathan Reggler is an outspoken advocate of the controversial issue. Reggler believes – and the Supreme Court of Canada agrees – that doctor-assisted death is a basic right for Canadians.

Thirteen months ago (Feb. 6, 2015) the Supreme Court of Canada ruled – unanimously – that the “sanctity of life” must also include the “passage into death” and effectively gave the government 12 months to put the ruling into law.

The government was given a four-month grace period, due to the election, but the heat is on now, and the interest in the impending legislation is more piqued here in the Comox Valley than in most communities, based on the fact that we have a hospital owned by the Catholic church.

Whether or not doctor-assisted death should be legal in Canada is an issue in itself, and one of which we can appreciate both sides of the debate.

And while we may sit on the fence in that regard, one thing we cannot accept is when the agenda of a religion comes ahead of the best interest of the patient in a publicly funded health care facility.

Privately funded? A different matter altogether. But when we, the taxpayers, are paying all the salaries/wages, and for the equipment used in a hospital, we should not be told, “I’m sorry, but your legal rights contradict the policies of our owner.”

It’s not like Comox Valley residents have a choice in the matter. There’s one hospital. And while it may be “owned” by the Catholic church, it is funded by everyone; Catholics, atheists, Jews and Muslims alike.

Meanwhile, Island Health – the publicly-funded entity which oversees the health care industry on Vancouver Island  – has said it supports the hospital’s stance.

We cannot share that stance.

Just as operations should never take place in confessionals, Catholicism – or any other religion, for that matter – should never overrule medical care in a publicly funded medical facility.

–Terry Farrell


Just Posted

Transitioning back into the world

Courtenay man had been living outdoors before starting Sally Ann program

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Comox Valley Santa’s Workshop in need of bicycles for youngsters, gifts for teens

Santa’s Workshop, at 464 Puntledge Road (formerly the Red Cross building), is… Continue reading

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Liquor store robbery suspect arrested

The Comox Valley RCMP have identified the suspect in relation to the… Continue reading

The fair with 1,000 stories

Tibetan carpets, Ugandan bags and scarves from the Peruvian Andes were among… Continue reading

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Mid Island Farmers Institute discusses fleece at November meeting

Are you a lover of wool and local fibre? Interested in raising… Continue reading

Comox Valley Nature invites the public to learn about nature photography

Comox Valley Nature is hosting a public lecture on photography. Join Terry… Continue reading

The fair with 1,000 stories

Tibetan carpets, Ugandan bags and scarves from the Peruvian Andes were among… Continue reading

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Most Read