Delta hospice reopens after bitter fight over medically assisted death

·1 min read
The Irene Thomas Hospice is pictured in Delta, B.C. The hospice closed in Feb. 2021 and is reopening April 15 under the authority of Fraser Health. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)
The Irene Thomas Hospice is pictured in Delta, B.C. The hospice closed in Feb. 2021 and is reopening April 15 under the authority of Fraser Health. (Ben Nelms/CBC - image credit)

The 10-bed Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, which was at the centre of a bitter dispute over medically assisted dying, is reopening on Thursday, according to Fraser Health.

The hospice shut down Feb. 25 after the organization that previously operated the facility, the Delta Hospice Society, lost $1.5 million in annual public funding over a decision to stop offering medical assistance in dying (MAiD) services.

Fraser Health, which has authority over health-care services in the region, severed its operating agreement with the Delta Hospice Society and served it with a one-month eviction notice on the same date.

"People have the right to access hospice services if and when they need them, which is why we are so committed to ensuring these services remain available in Delta and in all communities across our province," said Health Minister Adrian Dix in a statement.

In the past year, the Delta Hospice Society has also been at odds with community members who alleged the board of directors had contravened the B.C. Societies Act and stacked the membership of the society for voting purposes.

A B.C. Supreme Court decision found in favour of the community members who brought the petition against the Delta Hospice Society.

Subsequent appeals of the decision filed by Delta Hospice Society were dismissed by the B.C. Court of Appeal and Supreme Court of Canada.