Disappointed VIHA funds Hamlets in spite of MAiD policies
Belief in the unproven is an important aspect of faith-based religions. I support the right to practice private faith. In contrast, secular medicine is based on the scientific development of knowledge through proof. I support public funds being used for secular public health care for all, not the practice of private faith by denying secular rights.
Some faith-based operators wish to restrict the practice of secular medicine while using public funds to practice consistent with their private faith based on the unproven. Sometimes this shows as attempts to perpetuate patriarchy by denying women’s reproductive rights. Sometimes it attempts to deny terminally ill patients the legal right to dignity in death where they live.
I have been fortunate to be present when each of my parents died. One by refusing medical care, the other when immediate relatives had life support removed. Both of them were clergy, with faith they would join their god. I have been present when other loved ones benefitted by Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD). In each instance inevitable death occurred peacefully, painlessly, and with family members present.
The alternative in every instance was no prospect of recovery; a protracted, painful process of death; and the likelihood of dying unsupported by family.
I am disappointed that VIHA supports, funds, and defends the cruel denial of this valuable end-of-life medical care by The Hamlets at Duncan. I hope that local physicians have the courage of Dr. Ellen Wiebe who provided MAiD at Louis Brier Home and Hospital in Vancouver despite that facility’s policies.