Hospices announce they will be euthanasia-free services
Otago Community Hospice and Hospice Southland (pictured below) have decided they will operate as a euthanasia-free service, if the End of Life Choice Act passes the upcoming referendum.
"We will continue to support all our patients and families using the principles of excellent palliative care, but our staff will not assess eligibility for assisted dying, nor deliver or be present during the administration of lethal doses of medication," Otago Community Hospice chief executive Ginny Green said.
While the hospice would respect a patient’s individual decision should they choose the option of assisted dying — and would provide palliative care — staff would not assess a patient’s eligibility for assisted death, nor administer or be present at administration of medications given with the intent to cause death.
The board of the Otago Community Hospice had consulted staff, patients and health organisations throughout the region before it finalised its policy.
In a similar move, Hospice Southland released a letter signed by medical director Amanda Sommerfeldt and chief executive Peter Wards. “Hospice Southland does not take any action to cause patients to die sooner than they would naturally.” Wards stated the End of Life Choice Act isn't in line with palliative care.