Hospice Should Support All End of Life Choices

Angelina Ireland, President, Delta Hospice Society (DHS) stated in an article for The Delta Optimist that the BC Courts are forcing “us to let a hostile group take over the Society, change its foundational purposes, and seize the assets built up for over 30 years.

Ms. Ireland seems to think that she has considerable experience with Delta Hospice and represents a lengthy history with the organization. In fact, she has only been on the DHS Board of Directors for two years; her six board colleagues have each less than a year of experience.  

Along with my fellow petitioners, Chris Pettypiece and Jim Levin, collectively we have nearly 20 years of experience on the DHS board and 10 consecutive years in the role of President of the Society. We have a much greater understanding of the organization and its history than the current board.

One could say the “hostile takeover” is by Ms. Ireland and her appointees to the board.  These individuals do not represent the community of Delta. As has been said before, the four appointees to the DHS board were new members to the organization and now have control of the board. Many would call that a takeover.

The foundational DHS purposes, which include “to provide compassionate care in the last stages of living” as well as “peoples’ health care choices are respected and valued” have not changed. It is the interpretation of these purposes that is being debated.

DHS has accumulated considerable assets over the years. These assets are a result of tremendous community support.

This board did not amass these assets; hard work by many volunteers and community members as well as local businesses and groups supported the financial needs of the Society. These are the very individuals that the current board now wants to exclude from having a voice in the future of the organization.

The Take Back Delta Hospice advocacy group is grateful for the hundreds of community members who are supporting their efforts. Though the court proceedings have been postponed for a couple of months, this group remains committed to ensuring the DHS membership reflects the wishes of the entire community and will use this delay to strengthen local representation. Our community needs our hospice to provide compassionate palliative care that supports all peoples’ end of life choices.  

Sharon Farrish  

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