For 34 years Hospice Peterborough has demonstrated a collaborative community approach, strong leadership and good governance which has led the organization to become a respected leader in the delivery of hospice palliative and bereavement care across the province.
In 2016 when Medical Assistance in Dying legislation was introduced in Canada, Hospice Peterborough struck a committee to discuss how Hospice Peterborough would integrate the new legislation into our service. The committee included representation from clients, palliative physicians, Board of Directors and staff delivering community palliative programs. The committee determined that Hospice Peterborough will not stigmatize those who choose Medical Assistance in Dying, and that staff needed to follow the guidelines of the professional health colleges which allowed health professionals to talk about MAiD if the client introduced the topic and needed help to access more information.
Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PRHC) established a very strong program to support people who were at the end-of-life and their families in exploring and choosing to enact MAiD. Their program included education and support for the front line health care staff involved in providing MAiD and an effective booklet developed in clear, non-partisan language to describe MAiD. As a small community organization just starting to offer 24/7 care in 2019, developing or offering a MAiD program at the Hospice Residence was beyond Hospice Peterborough’s capacity. For those interested in MAiD we work with PRHC to ensure people had access to MAiD if desired, Hospice Peterborough continues to impartially support clients and residents who wished to consider MAiD by answering questions and in helping them to navigate their choice.
In 2021, as a result of community, staff, volunteer and board consultations for the 2021-2025 Hospice Peterborough Strategic Plan – it was determined that there was a need to reinvestigate and possibly redefine Hospice Peterborough’s position on MAiD in our 10 bed hospice residence. A MAiD working group was established by the Board to coordinate an internal process to review MAiD. This extensive process included staff and Board education and focus groups, while considering feedback from the community and the review of provincial and national standards and directions from palliative care organizations including the Ontario Palliative Care Network, Hospice Palliative Care Ontario and the Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association.
As the result of this extensive process, Hospice Peterborough Board of Directors have issued the following directive at their last board meeting:
“The Board of Hospice Peterborough respects and supports a person’s choice for medical assistance in dying. Therefore, the Board requests the creation of an operational plan for medical assistance in dying at Hospice Peterborough. “
Currently the operational plan is being developed in conjunction with our community partners. The Board will share more information when the operational plan is available.
For further information contact:
Hajni Hos, Executive Director
Len Lifchus, Board Chair
325 London Street
Peterborough, Ontario K9H 2Z5