What Is A Death With Medical Assistance?
In a situation known as a "medically assisted death," a licensed/qualified doctor or physician gives a patient the knowledge and tools they need to end their life.
Usually, there is a good reason to do such a thing: ending a grievous and irremediable condition where death is "reasonably foreseeable" or lessening the suffering of those who are terminally ill, as the Assisted Dying Bill puts it.
Other names for medically assisted suicide exist, but they all essentially mean the same thing.
Overview of life insurance and medically assisted dying
It's interesting to see how euthanasia and physician-assisted death are handled similarly by almost all life insurance companies. Life insurance companies will pay claims in full regardless of how long the policy was in effect if there is a clear case of MAID (medical assistance in dying) where both health preconditions (terminal disease/palliative condition) AND legal requirements are met.
A suicide death is handled differently by insurance companies; if it occurs within the first two years of the policy's existence, they will only refund payments that have already been paid. Suicide is considered a regular death after two years, and insurance companies will cover it.
It is vital to note that every claim is normally the subject of a thorough examination and may be cancelled if an insurer detects dishonesty. An ordinary illustration may be a mental disorder or pre-condition that has been recognized for some time but has yet to be revealed to an insurer. Even after the policy has been in effect for two years in this instance, a suicide claim won't be compensated.
An in-depth analysis of life insurance and assisted suicide
These are the exact statements made by insurance companies regarding their views on medical help in dying.
Life Insurance Company #1 and Death With Medical Assistance
"We do not examine the 2-year period since we do not treat physician-assisted death in the same manner as suicide.
Usually, the purpose of these doctor-assisted deaths is to end the suffering of terminally ill patients. Doctors are still expected to abide by specific standards and rules in these circumstances. The legal requirements are very tight as to who can obtain physician aided suicide.
The Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) also reaffirmed its position that life insurance claims in instances of physician-assisted dying should not be denied as long as the procedures outlined by the law are followed. We do abide by the CLHIA's guidelines on medical assistance in dying. We also stated that when the time comes, the industry will seek to comply with any changes in the law.
In stating this, there might be more information needed at the time of claim, like all of our claims, for instance a completed Physician Statement or supporting medical records. These are handled on an individual basis.
Life Insurance Company #2 and Death through Medical Aid
"The following is our stance in regards to a death that results from medically assisted suicide. The claim will be examined for significant misrepresentation if a death occurs while the suicide and contestable clauses are in force since, if found, such misrepresentation may invalidate the policy contract.
The suicide benefit would be paid if there was no evidence of material misrepresentation and the loss did not fulfil the MAID criterion.
According to current law, at this time, the death would not be considered suicide if there was no evidence of significant misrepresentation and it met the criteria for medical assistance in dying. In this case, the claim would be compensated as a result.
This response does not constitute a renunciation of our company's rights to look into further allegations in any way.
Life Insurance Company #3 and Death through Medical Aid
According to the CLHIA, insurance companies won't enforce a policy's suicide clauses if the life insured passes away, thanks to medical assistance. Our business has made no such comment.
We anticipate changes to provincial insurance laws, but it is unclear when they will take place or how they will be worded to address the issue of medically assisted suicide clauses in life insurance contracts.
As usual, we would judge the claim to ensure there was no misrepresentation or nondisclosure.
Only a TENTATIVE evaluation has been made; final underwriting review and approval are pending. Within 30 days of receiving this letter, any and all underwriting views on queries will be reviewed together with normal age and amount requirements as asked by the underwriting department to conclude.
Life Insurance Company #4 and Death through Medical Aid
"A person must meet the following criteria in order to request assisted dying:
be protected by a public health plan
be able to make health care decisions at age 18
have a serious illness that cannot be cured
submit a voluntary written request for assisted death without outside pressure (complete and sign the required forms)