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

Comox Valley Chamber looks back on recent achievements

Chamber of Commerce Week Feb. 18-22

What to do on Family Day in the Comox Valley

Looking for something to do this Family Day? Here are some suggestions:Courtenay… Continue reading

Deported Courtenay man who came to Canada as a baby granted chance at return

Len Van Heest was deported to the Netherlands in 2017

Highland Secondary student wins Horatio Alger scholarship

Jenna Leggett grew up on Read Island where there was no electricity and no roads to her home

Trudeau’s principal secretary, Gerald Butts, resigns amid SNC-Lavalin furor

Butts categorically denies the accusation that he or anyone else in the PMO improperly pressured former attorney general Jody Wilson-Raybould

Lost a ring? This B.C. man will find it for you

Chris Turner founded The Ring Finders, an international directory of metal detector hobbyists

Poverty coalition has high hopes for B.C. poverty reduction strategy

Funding allocation expected to be released with 2019 budget

‘How did we get here?’: B.C. mom of transplant recipient worries about measles outbreaks

Addison, 7, cannot get a live vaccine because she has a heart transplant

Steelhead LNG stops work on Kwispaa LNG project near Bamfield

Huu-ay-aht First Nations ‘deeply disappointed; Steelhead says funding is the problem

NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh calls for public inquiry over SNC-Lavalin questions

Vancouver member of Parliament Jody Wilson-Raybould resigned from cabinet last week

Canadian airlines waiting for guidance from Ottawa over X gender option

Major U.S. airlines said they will change their process so passengers can identify themselves along non-binary lines

Moose Hide campaign takes message to Canadian schools

Campaign launches new K-12 education platform

Most Read