TORONTO, ON – Depending on the number of people who go through with it, a new report finds the country’s assisted-dying legislation could save Canada as much as $138.8 million a year.
New analysis from researchers at the University of Calgary, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, takes aim at the final month of a terminally ill person’s life and how the medical costs tend to rise in those final 30 days.
A recent study out of Ontario found it costs the average person about $14,000 in healthcare costs during the last month of his or her life.
The authors stress they are not advocating or suggesting people be voluntarily euthanized just to save the health care system some money. “Neither patients nor physicians should consider costs when making the very personal decision to request, or provide, this intervention,” the researchers write in the latest issue of the Journal.
The analysis is based on the number of Canadians who are expected to choose assisted death, the amount of time a person’s life may be cut short and the costs of care ahead of the final days or month of their life. It also takes into consideration emergency department visits and hospital admissions.
The researchers believe medical-assisted dying could eventually play a part in as much as four per cent of all deaths in Canada.
Bill C-14, the assisted-dying law that the federal government approved last June, requires that two doctors assess patients to determine whether they qualify for assisted-dying.