Doctor-assisted suicide could save Canada up to $139 million each year, Alberta study suggests

Stéthoscope et eurosNational Post 23 January 2017
Family First Comment: The ‘elephant in the room’ in the debate over euthanasia…
According to the authors, “as death approaches, health care costs increase dramatically in the final months. Patients who choose medical assistance in dying may forgo this resource-intensive period.”
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Doctor-assisted suicide could save Canada tens of millions of dollars annually by avoiding costly “end-of-life” care, according to a provocative new analysis.

The savings — up to $139 million annually — will almost certainly dwarf the costs associated with helping dying patients kill themselves, University of Calgary researchers report.

The authors go to pains to state they aren’t suggesting people be voluntarily euthanized to save money. “Neither patients nor physicians should consider costs when making the very personal decision to request, or provide, this intervention,” they write in this week’s issue of the Canadian Medical Association Journal.

However, their attempt to cost out the controversial practice is an issue many have avoided touching.

According to the authors, “as death approaches, health care costs increase dramatically in the final months. Patients who choose medical assistance in dying may forgo this resource-intensive period.”

Their analysis is based on the number of Canadians expected to choose an assisted death, the amount of time a person’s life might be shortened and the costs of care immediately preceding death in the final week or month of life, such as emergency department visits, dialysis and hospital admissions.

They also calculated the cost of offering doctor-hastened death — including life-ending drugs that can run as little as $25, depending on the regimen.
READ MORE: http://www.nationalpost.com/m/wp/news/blog.html?b=news.nationalpost.com/news/0124-na-assisted-dying
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