NRL News

Euthanasia could “save Canada up to $139 million a year” study says

by | Jan 26, 2017

Editor’s note. This comes from our friends at SPUC–the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children.

It's cheaper to euthanize the ill and dying than to care for them, suggests the report.

It’s cheaper to euthanize the ill and dying than to care for them, suggests the report.

Doctor assisted suicide could save Canada tens of millions of dollars a year by avoiding costly end of life care, according to researchers at the University of Calgary [].

The authors claim that, “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.”

Costs of killing

Dr. Aaron J. Trachtenberg, an internal medicine resident at the University of Calgary, and his co-author, Braden Manns, a nephrologist and health economist, first set out to quantify the costs to the healthcare system of offering euthanasia.

They did this by adding up the cost of two medical assessments and of paying a doctor to administer a lethal cocktail of drugs. Then, they factored in the price of the drugs, relying on Alberta’s suggested regimen of four medications, and the cost of a pharmacist’s time to prepare the medications. They created a “high-cost” and a “low-cost” scenario (“life-ending drugs” can cost as little as $25).

No agenda?

The authors stated that, based on an estimate of euthanasia accounting for one to four percent of all deaths in Canada, it would cost between $1.5-million and $14.8-million a year – a small figure compared to money spent on end of life care. They calculated that, depending on how many people chose what they call MAID (Medical Assistance in Dying) savings to the public purse could be between $34.7-$138.8 million annually.

Dr. Trachtenburg claimed there was “no agenda” to the cost analysis. “We’re definitely not suggesting that medical assistance in dying be chosen over any other way of dying,” he said.

Categories: Canada