Woman says hospice house staff won’t let her die

Woman says hospice house staff won’t let her die

KELOWNA – A Kelowna woman who has applied for a physician assisted death complains the local hospice house is interfering with her wishes.

Mary John, 84, is in the facility with terminal lung cancer and other health problems.

“I would like to pass on,” says John. “I’ve been in pain for so many years”.

But John and her daughter say hospice house staff are stalling the process.

“If that’s what she wants, and she is in sound mind, that’s what she should get. No one should put any roadblocks in the way,” says Colette Viergutz. “They’re trying to put their own agenda on my mother’s assisted dying, their own beliefs.”

Interior Health, which governs the hospice house, is investigating.

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“All the health authorities are struggling with different institutions or facilities that are part of the health authority because we’re dealing with different cultures and different belief systems,” says Dr. Harsh Hundal. “I don’t think there’s an easy solution but we are working on it.”

The Interior Health investigation should be complete in about two weeks.