Archbishop Paglia says priests can be present at assisted suicide

Catholic Herald

Hannah Brockhaus

Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, president of the Pontifical Academy for Life, said Tuesday that he would be willing to hold the hand of someone dying from assisted suicide, and that he does not see that as lending implicit support for the practice.

Paglia spoke at a December 10 press conference preceding a two-day symposium on palliative care, being sponsored by the Pontifical Academy for Life and the WISH initiative, part of the Qatar Foundation. . . [Full text]

B.C. hospice may face penalties if it fails to make medically-assisted death available by deadline

The Globe and Mail

Andrea Woo, Wendy Stueck

B.C. hospice society that refuses to provide medical assistance in dying at its facility in violation of local rules has been given until Thursday to submit plans for compliance.

Health Minister Adrian Dix said the Delta Hospice Society, which operates the Irene Thomas Hospice in Ladner, may face penalties if it fails to do so.

“We’ve asked them … to provide their plan to fulfill their contract with the Fraser Health Authority and it is our expectation that they will,” Mr. Dix said on Wednesday. “Should they not want to fulfill their contract with Fraser Health, there may well be consequences of that.” . . . [Full text]

Decision to ban assisted dying at Ladner hospice goes against Fraser Health policy

Irene Thomas is the only non-denominational hospice within Fraser Health that doesn’t allow assisted dying.

Vancouver Sun

David Carrigg

The decision by a Ladner hospice to ban medical assistance in dying in its facility is at odds with Fraser Health policy.

On Monday, the newly appointed hospice society president, Angelina Ireland, told staff and volunteers at its Irene Thomas Hospice that the board had repealed a recent decision by the old board to allow MAiD at the facility. . . [Full text]

Debate over conscience rights hasn’t cooled off in Alberta

Fifty Covenant Health physicians write open letter against Bill 207

Grandin Media

Kyle Greenham

A private member’s bill to protect the conscience rights of health professionals in Alberta is still fighting for survival.

United Conservative Party MLA Dan Williams plans to advocate for Bill 207, the Conscience Rights (Health Care Providers) Protection Act, well into the new year. Williams’ bill would ensure health practitioners — and organizations — can conscientiously decline a procedure without worry that they would be penalized or, at worst, lose their job. . .[Full text]

Doctors call for end of conscience rights bill up for discussion today

‘We don’t support abandoning our patients,’ Edmonton doctor says

CBC News

Anna McMillan

A controversial conscience rights bill that critics say would reduce access to health care is back up for discussion in the legislature Monday — and Edmonton doctors are urging the government to vote it down. 

On Nov. 21, the standing committee on private bills and private members’ public bills determined Bill 207 should not move forward for debate. The legislature will vote Monday on whether to accept the all-party committee’s recommendation.

“This bill needs to die,” said Dr. Shelley Duggan, a critical care physician who works at Covenant Health facilities in Edmonton. . . [Full text]