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Court tells hospice society that refuses to allow assisted death to stop meeting

DELTA, B.C. — A British Columbia Supreme Court judge has cancelled a pivotal meeting on Monday for a hospice society in Delta, B.C., that won’t allow medical assistance in dying.

One of three former board members of the Irene Thomas Hospice who petitioned the court to stop the meeting says the judge gave them a complete victory.

Chris Pettypiece says the judge also ruled on Friday that the current board acted in bad faith to manipulate a vote by rejecting applications for those who wanted to be members of the Delta Hospice Society.

Pettypiece says Justice Shelley Fitzpatrick also ordered the current board to provide a list of rejected memberships and that it must accept memberships for those who were turned away.

Hospice society president Angelina Ireland was unavailable for comment, although her affidavit to the court says the society’s leadership has worked towards changing its constitution to reflect its Christian character.

B.C.’s Health Ministry announced last year that it was withdrawing $1.5 million in annual funding, covering about 94 per cent of the cost to run the facility, because the society won’t comply with provincial policies on medical assistance in dying.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 14, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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