Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes Pal­lia­tive Care Re­si­dence (VSPCR) re­sponds to pro­vince’s end-of-life bill

Home’s mis­sion not chan­ging

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

The Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes Pal­lia­tive Care Re­si­dence Foun­da­tion has re­spon­ded to Que­bec’s new­ly adop­ted and contro­ver­sial end-of-life bill in a bid to clear up any confu­sion about the man­date the home is stan­ding by.

The home’s foun­da­tion al­so made it clear that me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted dying will not be of­fe­red at the Hud­son-ba­sed fa­ci­li­ty.

In a June 18 press re­lease the VSPCRF said it felt it was ne­ces­sa­ry to take a stand fol­lo­wing the adop­tion of Que­bec’s Bill 52.

‘The Board of Di­rec­tors, doc­tors and cli­ni­cal staff of the Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes Pal­lia­tive Care Re­si­dence would like to cla­ri­fy that the new le­gis­la­tion does not change the care of­fe­red to date, for ter­mi­nal­ly ill pa­tients,’ the re­lease read in part.

‘Ba­sed on Ar­ticle 13 of Bill 52 which al­lows dif­ferent pal­lia­tive care set­tings to choose to prac­tice me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted dying, the Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes Pal­lia­tive Care Re­si­dence wishes to in­form the po­pu­la­tion of Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes and the sur­roun­ding area that me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted dying is not a ser­vice that will be of­fe­red wi­thin the Re­si­dence.’

The home will ne­ver­the­less of­fer ‘com­fort, care and com­pas­sion,’ to anyone consi­de­ring me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted death.

They will al­so be ‘di­rec­ted to the ap­pro­priate re­sources, should they wish to pur­sue their de­ci­sion.’

Ta­king a stand

The doc­tors in­clu­ding one foun­ding doc­tor, Syl­vie Du­fresne, and ad­mi­nis­tra­tors in­clu­ding Ri­chard Main­ville, fur­ther cla­ri­fied the foun­da­tion’s stance du­ring the fol­lo­wing interview:

Q:Why did the VSPCR feel it was ne­ces­sa­ry to cla­ri­fy its point of view re­gar­ding the bill?

A:The (home) needs to cla­ri­fy its role in re­la­tion to Bill 52 so that there is no confu­sion about the care pro­vi­ded to the po­pu­la­tion. Would the bill po­ten­tial­ly put the home in a new roll if people wan­ted to come there to end their own lives?

No. The me­di­cal as­sis­tance to die is not prac­ti­ced at the VSPCR. The house will conti­nue to pro­vide pal­lia­tive care with di­gni­ty and res­pect for the per­son.

Q: How is the end-of-life bill dif­ferent from the kind of care of­fe­red at the home?

A: To me­di­cal­ly as­sist so­meone to die is to ad­mi­nis­ter a me­di­ca­tion that causes death. Pal­lia­tive care of­fe­red at the home in­cludes com­fort care where me­di­ca­tion is used to re­lieve symp­toms un­til the end. What we are saying is that while me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted dying will not be of­fe­red at the home, anyone wan­ting our sup­port or our coun­se­ling will be di­rec­ted to the right re­sources.

Q: Are such re­sources of­fe­red at the home?

A: The per­son who takes steps to get me­di­cal aid in dying has, in our view, the right to ob­tain pal­lia­tive com­fort care by the VSPCR. If, ho­we­ver, his or her de­sire to get me­di­cal help to die per­sists, we will di­rect them to the ap­pro­priate re­sources with the help of CSSS Vau­dreuil-Sou­langes, when the time comes.

Q: Do you sup­port the new bill?

A: The foun­da­tion and the home do not sup­port any me­di­cal as­sis­tance to die.

Q: Are there im­pli­ca­tions of the bill that trouble you?

A: The main concern is that the pu­blic does not as­so­ciates the hos­pice with any me­di­cal in­ter­ven­tion that causes death. We of­fer care to ac­com­pa­ny people at the end of life.

Since ope­ning in Sep­tem­ber 2010, the Hud­son hos­pice has hel­ped more than 500 people at the end of their lives. The home’s doc­tors, pro­fes­sio­nals, sup­port staff and vo­lun­teers say they will conti­nue their mis­sion of pro­vi­ding spe­cia­li­zed pal­lia­tive care with res­pect and di­gni­ty to people of all ages with a ter­mi­nal ill­ness. Pal­lia­tive care must conti­nue to be part of a conti­nuum of care and not be re­la­ted to me­di­cal­ly as­sis­ted dying, they stress.

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