Woman with terminal cancer forced to transfer from St. Paul’s Hospital for assisted dying
Samantha O’Neill never expected that, at 34-years-old, she’d have to think about medically assisted dying.
Nor did her family expect that the hospital where she was treated for terminal cancer would deny her that right. St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver is run by Providence Health Care, a Catholic health organization that opposes medical assistance in dying and will not let it happen in its 10 hospitals and care facilities.
O’Neill’s family and Dying with Dignity Canada say it’s unacceptable that a taxpayer-funded hospital like St. Paul’s — which is getting a $2 billion replacement in 2027 — forces dying patients to leave its facility to get MAID.
“It’s such a heartbreaking situation. The whole point of MAID is to die with dignity,” said her cousin Taryn Bodrug, who lives in Victoria and was with O’Neill in her final days. “She didn’t get that. There was no dignity in getting transferred to another place for a matter of policy.”