Medically assisted deaths will not be allowed at the new Hamlets in Duncan, a residential care facility that is being built on the corner of Beverly Street and York Road. (Robert Barron/Citizen)

No doctor assisted death allowed at Hamlets in Duncan

Faith-based company that owns facility believes in sanctity of life

Medically assisted deaths are not on the list of services at the new Hamlets in Duncan when construction of the residential care facility is complete.

The Hamlets in Duncan, which is currently being built on the corner of Beverly Street and York Road, will be owned and operated by H&H Total Care Services Inc., a faith-based health-care management company based in Surrey.

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H&H has a “Values” statement on its website that says the company believes in the sanctity of life.

“Our organization is guided by the tenets of our Christian faith that upholds the sanctity of life, no matter what stage of life,” the statement says.

“Given that our beliefs are contrary to the intentions of Medical Assistance in Dying (MAiD), such provision of death will not be permitted on our premises.”

H&H has been creating senior living communities with “hamlets” in British Columbia and Alberta for more than 25 years.

The “hamlets” serve people with different care needs including seniors, dementia care and patients with acquired brain injuries.

For the Hamlets in Duncan project, H&H has partnered with Island Health which will subsidize 80 of the beds at the facility with public money, and there will also be 55 private-pay independent or assisted living units.

RELATED STORY: LONG-TERM CARE HOME THE HAMLETS NOW UNDER CONSTRUCTION IN DUNCAN

But the issue of H&H’s policy not to allow medically assisted deaths, which are now legal in Canada, for those in the facility’s publicly funded beds has been raised as a concern.

An email from Andre Van Ryk, the CEO and CAO of H&H, said the family-owned company wants to reassure people that the organization is committed to working with Island Health, and all health authorities, to ensure residents can explore all of the end-of-life options available to them in a respectful environment.

“We are also committed to working with Island Health to assist with a transfer if a resident chooses to proceed with a medically assisted death,” Ryk said.

“We respect that people have a choice in which long-term care home they wish to reside in, and acknowledge that Island Health will accommodate people who would prefer to live in a long-term care home that allows for the provision of MAiD on site.”

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A statement from Island Heath confirmed the Hamlets in Duncan will be owned and operated by H&H, which is a denominational, contracted provider.

The statement said that under the terms of the Provincial Master Agreement with Denominational Health Care, H&H is permitted to not provide services on site that conflict with its beliefs.

“H&H has a policy in place that enables all activities leading up to MAiD, such as assessments, to take place in their facilities,” the statement said.

“That policy places restrictions around actually providing MAiD on site. Island Health has policies in place to transport anyone who requests MAiD to another location, if necessary, for anyone who chooses to reside at the Hamlets. We value our denominational partners and the excellent care they provide to patients and residents in their care, and we respect that denominational partners may not support the provision of MAiD onsite.”



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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