Canadian euthanasia doctors want more money to kill

Magazine asks, “Should Doctors be paid a premium for assisting deaths?”

By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

Canadian euthanasia doctors are pressuring the provincial governments to pay them more money for euthanasia. Supposedly, some euthanasia doctors have stopped killing people based on what they are paid

An article by Kelly Grant published in the Globe and Mail appears to pressure governments to pay more for euthanasia. The article insinuates that access to euthanasia has been impeded by the money doctors make to do lethal injections:

Dr. Pewarchuk, an internal medicine specialist in Victoria who has presided over 20 assisted deaths, took his name off the list of willing physicians last month after the body that sets doctors’ pay in British Columbia approved new fees that he and some of his fellow providers say are so low they could chase away even the most committed physician supporters of assisted dying.

MacLean’s magazine published an article by Catherine McIntyre stating that physicians in the Netherlands are paid more money to kill:

In the Netherlands, for example, where physician-assisted dying has been legal since 2002, providers are paid a flat rate of about 1,500 euros. That’s $2,200 Canadian dollars and at least five times more than what MAID providers can earn in Canada. On top of that, Dutch physicians are given a paid day off after assisting a death to take care of themselves emotionally.

(Correction: Professor Theo Boer sent me a message stating that MacLean’s magazine was wrong. He said that doctors receive 227 euro per euthanasia. 227 euro is currently $337 Canadian.)

In her article—“Should Doctors be paid a premium for assisting deaths?”– Grant explains the BC government fee schedule for euthanasia:

Under the new fee schedule, B.C. physicians will now be paid $40 for every 15 minutes, up to a maximum of 90 minutes, to conduct the first of two eligibility assessments required by law.

Each of the assessments has to be provided by a different clinician. That works out to $240, a significant increase from the $100.25 interim assessment fee that has been in place in B.C. since shortly after assisted death became legal.

For second assessments, the time is capped at 75 minutes.

In the case of providing an assisted death, the province has set a flat fee of $200, plus a home-visit fee of $113.15.

Therefore, the price on ending a life in British Columbia is up to $553.15 ($240 + $313.15).

Grant compared the fee paid for euthanasia in several Canadian Provinces:

By comparison, if a doctor spent three hours start to finish on an assisted death – excluding the formal eligibility assessment – he or she could bill $621.60 in Alberta, $600 in New Brunswick, $499.80 in Quebec, $480 in Manitoba and $465.60 in Saskatchewan. If doctors in those same five provinces billed for two hours, they could still earn more than B.C.’s $313.15 in every province but Saskatchewan, though not by much.

In January the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association published an article indicating that the Canadian healthcare system could save up to $138 million dollars now that euthanasia is legal.

Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.