This will be my last report to Provincial as I have chosen to step down. I have enjoyed my years on Provincial and how much I have learned with each chair I have been given and the wonderful people I have met and worked with. Each chair is filled with a new learning experience and I realized more what a wonderful organization we belong to.
Education and Health has been one of my favorites as it includes Hospice and Palliative Care which I have been involved in for about 11 years. It is a frightening time in our country with what is going on with End of Life law and Policy. Through the Canadian Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID) legislation, Parliament asked the Ministers of health and Justice to “Initiate one or more independent reviews of requests by mature minors for MAID where mental illness is the sole underlying medical condition” These results are to be released by fall. Now MAID is restricted to over the age of 18 and what they are requesting is under the age of majority who have the capacity to understand.
BC has the highest rate of medically assisted death in Canada (nearly double the national rate) and Vancouver Island has the highest in BC.
There are 4 free-standing Hospices in BC. The Prince George Hospice is one of them and is about 40% government funded and the rest comes from local donations. No euthanasia is performed at our Hospice in Prince George. Hospice is becoming more well-known now and many choose to go there for end of life. Donna Flood the Catholic Director of Prince George Hospice told us at the St. Mary’s CWL dinner that 253 guests went through Hospice last year. Hospice in Prince George is now starting Community Match where volunteers go into the community and sit with guests who choose to be at home. Hospitals are so noisy and fast paced and impersonal and it is about $1,100 per day in hospital and $300.00 – $400.00 to die at home.
Many of you know I spent about 4 weeks with my sister in law, in Cranbrook, helping to fulfill a promise that she could die at home. There are many resources out there that can be accessed. She had Home Support, Home nursing, Hospice visits and all the necessary equipment including a hospital bed. Palliative Care is dying with dignity and home support including family are trained in keeping the loved one comfortable. Law makers tell us there is only a slow painful death or euthanasia.
A male home care worker said to my brother a few days before my sister in law passed “Have you heard of MAID?” I said “I do not believe in that! My feeling is: What is the difference if you hold a gun to someone’s head and kill them or if you shoot them in the arm to kill them. Either way you are killing them” We need to keep aware of what government is proposing and write letters.
May God and Our Lady richly bless your work in CWL.