MLA Ravi Kahlon calls on Ian Paton to support patients’ rights in Delta

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DELTA – New Democrat MLA Ravi Kahlon is asking BC Liberal MLA Ian Paton to support Fraser Health’s decision to ensure Delta Hospice stops defying federal law by denying the rights of its patients to access medical assistance in dying (MAiD).

On February 25 Fraser Health announced it would be ending its service agreement with Delta Hospice Society (DHS), providing the required one-year notice to the organization. The termination follows the DHS board’s refusal to comply with the provincial medical assistance in dying (MAiD) policy.

When asked by reporters, BC Liberal MLA Ian Paton refused to say whether or not he thinks the facility’s current policy is acceptable, leading New Democrat MLA Ravi Kahlon to call on Paton to support patients’ rights in Delta.

“People in Delta deserve access to all healthcare services, including medical assistance in dying,” said Kahlon. “It’s important that Ian Paton clearly stands behind this decision to protect the rights of Delta patients to all medical services they are entitled to by law.”

This service, which became the law of Canada in 2016, is provided in British Columbia through a policy introduced by former BC Liberal Health Minister Terry Lake.

“Many people in Delta are disappointed to hear Ian Paton’s remarks on the Delta Hospice Society, and I’m disappointed to hear them as well,” said Kahlon. “By refusing to stand up for a choice that people are entitled to under the law, Mr. Paton is refusing to stand up for people in our community.”