'A question of dignity': visits for relatives at the end of their life are now allowed

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People in health-care facilities who are at the end of their life will be able to receive visits from their loved ones, the province announced on Wednesday.

“We do not want people at the end of their life to find themselves alone,” said Marguerite Blais, the minister responsible for seniors and caregivers, in a news release. “It is a question of dignity.”

During the first wave, people died in retirement homes without seeing their loved ones due to strict government health measures prohibiting visits. In May, following public demands to relax its policy, the province conceded to allow some visitation under certain conditions.

This time, spouses and children are allowed to visit a person at the end of their life, without restriction as to the number of people, according to a press release from the Ministry of Health.

Up to two so-called 'significant' people will be able to visit a loved one placed in palliative care at a time.

Visitors must maintain distancing and sanitary protocols. Only one health worker can accompany a person to a healthcare facility.

The new rules apply throughout the province, regardless of the alert level.

Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to visit a patient in palliative care or at the end of life.

-- this report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct 6, 2020. 

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