Phone call to mom about local MAiD situation appals Kootenay resident

Dear editor,

When I called my 78-year-old mom in Comox yesterday morning she was almost tearful as she talked about an article in the paper about seniors care and medical assisted death. We’ve had several warm and frank conversations now that her health is deteriorating. Then she described what is happening in the Comox Valley where soon much of seniors and all hospice care may be controlled by the Catholic Church prohibiting medical assisted death. Then mom said she now wants to consider moving – leaving her friends – to live where she will have her wishes respected.

Surely this couldn’t be accurate. Then I read the article and St. Joseph’s full statement and mom is right! How they can justify forced transfers from a nursing home or hospice for medical assisted dying is unconscionable. Those transfers which would be difficult in the best of times wouldn’t be to give mom better care – they serve no purpose but to enforce the church’s beliefs on others.

I respect St. Joseph’s right to act on their beliefs and I also expect them to respect mom’s right to the care that she might want for herself.

As long as they accept everyone’s taxpayer dollars, St. Joseph’s (soon Providence) needs to offer the care to which we are all entitled or graciously allow others to do so.

The Comox Valley is not Vancouver where we could choose from other places that support everyone’s care choices.

People may have invited the Sisters of St. Joseph’s to the Comox Valley – have they invited what sounds like a takeover and monopoly by Providence? Why couldn’t Island Health award the new beds and move hospice to the Golden Life development where everyone’s wishes could be honoured? Have other promises been made by Island Health?

Suzanne Bauer

Castlegar

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