Times-Colonist: Comox hospital’s ban on medically assisted death denounced.
On Tuesday, Dr. Jonathan Reggler resigned from the St. Joseph’s General Hospital ethics committee over the facility’s “blanket prohibition” on doctor-assisted death. (With all due respect, don't let the door hit you on the way out.)
That means sick, frail, and vulnerable people seeking medical assistance in dying either choose to stay at St. Joseph’s and are denied their request, or they are sent home or transferred to another facility, Reggler said. (FYI, it's a Catholic hospital. If people really want to kill themselves, don't ask a Catholic hospital to enable their requests. According to Reggler's own words, the hospital's ban on euthanasia hasn't stopped him from privately enabling people to commit suicide. See Reggler's comments below.)
St. Joseph’s, a 241-bed facility, is the only hospital in the Comox Valley, which has a population of about 65,000.
Campbell River Hospital is about 45 minutes north by vehicle and Nanaimo 90 minutes south.
Jane Murphy, the hospital’s president and chief executive officer, accepted the resignation on behalf of the board of directors.
Murphy confirmed that the hospital does not provide “physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia,” but said it will respond to any patient requests with “respect, support, compassion and kindness, and will do so without discrimination or coercion.”
St. Joseph’s says it has a moral tradition of compassionate care that neither prolongs dying nor hastens death.
Reggler, a family doctor with privileges at the hospital since 2003, said forcing patients who choose doctor-assisted death to go home or travel in possible extreme discomfort is a violation of terminally ill patients’ rights under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. (If he's willing to help someone kill himself (in the privacy of his own home, for example?), as he claims to have done, where is the burden to his victims? Reggler makes house calls.)
“This is the cruellest hospital policy that I have ever encountered in over 30 years of medical practice,” Reggler said in his resignation letter. (Hyperbole?) “St. Joseph’s motto ‘care with compassion’ rings hollow now.” (Clearly, Reggler's definition of compassion leaves much to be desired.)
Reggler said he has facilitated medically assisted deaths in a hospice outside of the Comox Valley area, and in a patient’s home.
The physician said he fully supports the rights of medical professionals to decline to assist in a death for reasons of conscience. (Though, it's entirely acceptable, however, for him to demand that Catholics be coerced into supporting his agenda?)
“However, it is completely unacceptable for a bricks-and-mortar, publicly funded health-care institution to claim a right to conscientious objection while denying dying patients in its care a rightful (but immoral) treatment option,” he said. (If Reggler wants Saint Joseph's to support his agenda, let him buy the building and property—which was bought and paid for by Catholics. Why is it that rabid secularists conveniently forget the day-to-day investment that Catholics make by financially supporting, i.e., subsidizing hospitals, schools and other social service agencies? The Church is actually subsidizing the government.)
Murphy said the B.C. health sector allows for individuals and faith-based hospitals to conscientiously object: “B.C. has effective processes for transferring patients to other hospitals for numerous medical needs, and minimizing patient discomfort and pain is always the highest priority.”
Reggler said he hoped the hospital board would have the “courage” to say no to the Roman Catholic Church, which he said is guiding the hospital’s policy. (Bigot... Is Reggler thy name?)
In the meantime, Reggler said he will advise patients seeking medical assistance in dying about their options — which could include obtaining a court order requiring Reggler to carry out a medically assisted death at St. Joseph’s. (Why is it that Reggler suddenly needs a hospital to conduct his activities? He hasn't had need of the hospital until now, it seems. Where have his other victims been euthanized?)
For that, “they will need to get legal advice and I’d be more than happy to help them to find it,” Reggler said.
St. Joseph’s is the only such faith-based facility on Vancouver Island, Island Health said. (The Catholic Church has run hospitals when governments have failed to offer health services in rural Canada.)
Shanaaz Gokool, CEO of Dying With Dignity Canada (a label that is the epitome of a deceptive marketing tactic), said patients should have equal end-of-life care options across Canada: “They should not have to endure the hardship or the indignity of having to leave their hospital, and perhaps even their community, to exercise what is their right to a peaceful death.” (A "peaceful death", perhaps, but a peaceful afterlife? Probably not. Catholics should not be forced to participate in or cooperate with those conducting a gravely sinful act that, keeping in mind Catholic doctrine, could very likely result in souls—those of the victim and the perpetrators—being lost to hell.)