Elder Care

26 Jan 2021 More Than a Visitor

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on congregate care settings, not just in terms of the rapid spread of the virus but also in the banning of visitors, including those who had been active participants in the care or support of a loved one. While exceptions have been made, the ability to visit and care for loved ones in congregate care settings has been severely hampered. A new bill introduced by Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is looking to fix this and to set up the province for a better response...

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elder care in Canada

20 Oct 2020 Fully public long-term care is not ideal elder care

by Anna Nienhuis A BC NDP government will move to an entirely public system of senior care if elected, leader John Horgan said. The British Columbia provincial election is coming up on October 24, and after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed many deficiencies in long-term care facilities, this is a key issue for all parties to address. As home care services improve and our senior population increases, people age at home for longer and so often require high levels of care when they enter long-term care. But is full government provision of...

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03 Jun 2020 Canada’s lack of strategy in targeting COVID-19 led to unnecessary crisis in long-term care homes

By Anna Nienhuis Long-term care facilities house some of our society’s most vulnerable: those who need help eating, using the bathroom, or simply turning over in bed. The fact that some of our elders are facing neglect and abuse from those meant to care for them incites justifiable outrage. We need to ask what can be done to improve long-term care and assisted living. But we also need to ask how our governments’ (federal, provincial, and municipal) responses to COVID-19 contributed to this. Long-term care homes were known to be high risk Outbreaks...

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15 May 2020 Federal Euthanasia Survey Results: Support for Stronger Safeguards

Earlier this year, we encouraged you to fill out the federal government’s survey about Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID). The results are in and give reason for both concern and encouragement. Those of you who completed the survey will remember that the first question asked, “Do you think the current safeguards would prevent abuse, pressure, or other kinds of misuse of MAID after eligibility is broadened to people whose death is not reasonably foreseeable?” This basically asks whether we can expand eligibility for MAID to more people without tightening up the...

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caring for others during covid-19

02 Apr 2020 Society waking up to what it means to think of others

Just a few short weeks ago, we shared with you our grave concerns about Bill C-7, a bill introduced to expand euthanasia to those whose death is not reasonably foreseeable. This bill would make even more Canadians eligible for, and thus vulnerable to, euthanasia. Thankfully, with Parliament temporarily suspended on account of COVID-19, this bill has also been put on hold. In this holding period, the events unfolding around us have been astounding when we think of the shift in language and behaviour toward the most vulnerable. When hordes of young...

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euthanasia

13 Dec 2019 Euthanasia: Permitted not Mandated

By Levi Minderhoud   Recent news articles have recounted the fight between Fraser Health and the Irene Thomas Hospice in Delta, BC. Already back in 2016, Fraser Health – the local health authority responsible for serving 1.8 million British Columbians in the Lower Mainland – dictated that all hospices must provide euthanasia. After an outcry by citizens and hospices, Fraser Health softened its directive by allowing faith-based hospices to continue to live out their mission of neither hastening death nor intentionally ending life. Fraser Health still required non-denominational hospices to provide euthanasia. The Irene...

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29 May 2014 Palliative Care M-456 passed!

Yesterday, the House of Commons passed Charlie Angus' motion for a national palliative care strategy, almost unanimously (with only 1 vote against, by Bloc Québécois MP Jean-Francois Fortin). This motion is non-binding, meaning that it won't necessarily change laws but it certainly has the power to direct the conversation and move towards enacting laws. The motion asks the government to work with provinces and territories to ensure individuals have access to "high-quality, home-based and hospice palliative care," as well as providing more support to caregivers and encouraging Canadians to "discuss...

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23 Apr 2014 Palliative Care and Motion 456

The pressure continues for our Parliament to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia. While the push to legalize it through the back door in Québec has stalled, it most likely will be a battle that picks up again very soon. You can read about the battle in that province here. And while the battle in the provincial legislature in Québec raged, the battle for legalizing euthanasia through the courts continues as well, with another appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada. And in the federal Parliament, there continue to be calls for legalizing euthanasia, with yet another pair of bills attempting to legalize physician-assisted suicide. So, on three fronts (provincial government, federal government, and in the courts) the battle for life rages. What are we to do? One thing (among many) that we can do is support a new NDP motion on palliative care. Canada needs a national strategy for palliative care. In contrast to a push for legalized euthanasia, Mr. Charlie Angus wants to shift the discussion to how to improve end of life care. With M-456, Mr. Angus has changed the nature of the debate, taking the focus away from terminating people who are suffering, and instead focusing on ways to terminate the suffering in people. Read more...
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