chapmanhouseHospice care is an option for individuals when they are no longer pursuing life prolonging medical interventions. In these situations, a palliative approach to the care of people facing life-limiting disease is the common philosophical basis. The Canadian Hospice Palliative Care Association (CHPCA) defines hospice palliative care as an approach to care that aims to: "Relieve suffering and improve the quality of living and dying.

Such care approach strives to help patients and families:

1) Address physical, psychological, social, spiritual and practical issues, and their associated expectations, needs, hopes and fears;
2) Prepare for and manage self-determined life closure and the dying process; and
3) Cope with loss and grief during the illness and bereavement"

Hospice care is a holistic program that includes physical, psychosocial and spiritual care of patients and their families. Hospice care is life affirming, affording patients every opportunity to be comfortable and well cared for in a safe, stress-free environment. It offers time for patients and their loved ones to share words of reconciliation, respect, affirmation and enduring legacy.

At a fundamental level, Hospice work is about respecting life as it moves towards its conclusion.

Medical Assistance in Dying Legislation - Bill C-14 received Royal Assent in the House of Commons on June 17, 2016. During that time the Board of the Residential Hospice of Grey Bruce (RHGB) gave thoughtful consideration to what role the Hospice would play regarding MAiD. We had the opportunity to reflect on our service provided to the community and to consider our mission statement that includes our commitment to help people live well while dying. We used each of these to help us establish a policy that would reflect our commitment to those in our care as well as our role within the broader health system. Our strong desire is to remain as accessible as possible for those who are suffering and fully respect the right of individuals to choose.

Our policy is to ensure that whenever MAiD is requested the patients' wishes are respected; they are provided information, assessment, education, counseling, and timely transfer to have the service provided. What is not provided is actual hastened death within the hospice facility. A MAiD death is accessible in our region in a
number of other care settings across the GBHS hospital corporation, as well as in private homes and other supported living environments. The kind of care we provide is suited for those who have chosen a non-hastened death and the demand for this type of care (non-hastened death) is great in our region evidenced by the long waiting list we have on an ongoing basis. Between July 2016 (MAiD introduction into society) and now, we have cared for 239 patients and there have only been two situations where MAiD was requested. We ensure every patient under our care is treated with care and compassion, and if a patient initially decided they wished to be at Chapman House for a non-hastened death but ultimately decides they wish to proceed with a MAiD death, we support them in this decision and continue to care for them to the best of our ability until they are able to be cared for at a facility/location better suited to their decision.

source: media release, Chapman House

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