Monday, March 1, 2021

Life insurance and Canada's (MAiD) euthanasia law.

Alex Schadenberg
Executive Director, Euthanasia Prevention Coalition

I was recently contacted by a doctor who has a patient, who is not terminally ill, but wants to die by (MAiD) euthanasia after Bill C-7 has passed. The patient said that he and his wife have medical issues and if he were to die, then his life insurance would pay for the care that his wife requires.

When euthanasia was legalized in Canada the life insurance industry took the position that legalizing euthanasia would have a minimal effect on life insurance because the law required that a person's natural death be reasonably foreseeable. People who are terminally ill do not qualify to purchase life insurance.

EPC disagreed with the life insurance industry based on the phrase: natural death is reasonably foreseeable was not defined, nonetheless everything changes with Bill C-7, that is being debated by parliament.

Bill C-14, the bill that legalized euthanasia in Canada did not affect insurance contracts. Bill C-14 stated:

Whereas it is desirable to have a consistent approach to medical assistance in dying across Canada, while recognizing the provinces’ jurisdiction over various matters related to medical assistance in dying, including the delivery of health care services and the regulation of health care professionals, as well as insurance contracts and coroners and medical examiners;

Bill C-7 eliminates the requirement that a person's natural death must be reasonably foreseeable, meaning that people who are not dying can be killed by euthanasia.

It is possible that a person who intends to die by euthanasia, qualifies for life insurance, even though the policy would likely be rated, nonetheless, a rated policy would be cheap if a person intends to die soon.

What about the two year suicide restriction that the insurance industry uses for suicide?

Canada's legislation does not define (MAiD) euthanasia as a suicide. Therefore the two year suicide restriction used by the insurance industry does not affect (MAiD) euthanasia deaths.

I recognize that it would not be common for someone to qualify and purchase a life insurance policy knowing that they intend to be killed by (MAiD) euthanasia, nonetheless it is a concern and it would cause an increase in life insurance rates for legitimate life insurance policies.

As stated before, even a heavily rated policy is cheap when someone who is not terminally ill purchases life insurance with the intention of being killed by MAiD.

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