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Media reports said the policy of St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish, N.S., was being changed to offer assisted suicide in the hospital. Photo from Google Streetview

Hospital denies assisted suicide reports

By  Brian Dryden, Canadian Catholic News
  • September 24, 2019

CORNWALL, Ont. -- The Nova Scotia Health Authority has assured a Catholic health facility, St. Martha’s Hospital in Antigonish, that it will not have to provide assisted suicide within the hospital.

News reports indicating that the hospital would have to do so are wrong, said Michael Shea, president and CEO of the Catholic Health Alliance.

“It continues to operate as a Catholic hospital,” he said.

Media reports said the Nova Scotia Health Authority had changed its policy to ensure so-called medical assistance in dying would be available at the Catholic hospital. Under a 1996 agreement with the province, the hospital’s Catholic values were preserved, including the policy of forbidding assisted suicide.

According to a statement from Sr. Brenda Lee Boisvert of the Sisters of St. Martha, which formerly ran the hospital, the Health Authority has “assured us that medical assistance in dying (MAiD) will not take place in St. Martha’s Regional Hospital.” 

However, the health authority will provide such a service in a separate building that is not part of the hospital.  “We continue to uphold the mission and values of St. Martha’s Regional Hospital for quality compassionate health care,” Lee Boisvert said.

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