The BC Humanist Association issued the following letter to Health Minister Terry Lake regarding Margot Bentley, a dementia patient being kept alive against her wishes.
15 July 2013
Dear Minister Terry Lake,
It has come to our attention that the Fraser Health Authority has been needlessly prolonging the life of Margot Bentley. Ms. Bentley is a dementia patient at the Maplewood House in Abbotsford who clearly expressed her desire to die peacefully should her health decline due to an incurable condition. The BC Humanist Association calls on the Ministry to require the Fraser Health Authority to respect Ms. Bentley’s wish to not receive ‘nourishment or liquids.’
We consider the continued feeding of Margot Bentley against her and her family’s wishes to be an unethical affront to her human dignity. Needlessly prolonging a dying woman’s life makes little sense in a medical system that exists to reduce suffering. Life only has value so long as it has room for hope and dignity. The only hope remaining for Ms. Bentley and her family is the end of her suffering. Fulfilling Ms. Bentley’s wishes is the compassionate and moral action.
We hope that you will treat issue with the urgency and importance it merits. Thank you for your consideration.