Euthanasia: The painless killing of a patient suffering from an incurable and painful disease or in an irreversible coma. The practice is illegal in most countries.

Only a handful of countries, including Canada, have legalized the practice of performing medically assisted suicides, also known as euthanasia. The term euthanasia is treated as synonymous with medically assisted death, but there is a distinction. Euthanasia is when a doctor administers a life-ending drug or removes a life-providing apparatus (i.e. ventilator). MAID, or medical assistance in dying, is used when a doctor prescribes a life-ending drug but doesn’t participate in administering it. The good news is that none of these scenarios will impact your end of life insurance.


MAID and Death with Dignity Life Insurance
If you’ve wondered “does death with dignity void life insurance?” you may be surprised to learn that it doesn’t. In order to qualify for death with dignity, which is a term many people use instead of medically assisted suicide or medically assisted death, you must be terminally ill or have an incurable condition/illness that causes you an intolerable amount of pain or suffering. As you might imagine, insurers took the logical train of thought on this and said, more or less, the policy holder is definitely going to die because of this condition/illness, so why would we penalize them or deny their claim because they chose to die today rather than tomorrow?
While you cannot specifically purchase or request assisted suicide life insurance, you can be relatively certain that the life insurance you do have will cover these scenarios. However, be sure to contact your insurer to find out their position, specifically, on this matter – policies differ in terms and conditions. Ensure you know what yours entails.

What are the Rules with Suicide?
Suicides are treated differently in Canada than they are in the United States, and although pop culture may inform you that suicide nullifies a life insurance policy that, again, is false in Canada. The full death benefit of a life insurance policy will be paid to the beneficiary of the policy so long as the policy has been in place for at least two years. If it has been less than two years, then only the premiums paid up until the time of death may be returned.
Again, specific insurers may have more rules, or less rules, surrounding these situations so it is important that you find out what your policy entails. LSM Insurance is well-versed on this subject and is a great resource for all your life insurance needs and questions.

Get Informed
Knowledge is power, and knowing these recent legal changes is important. If you are in a situation where you are considering applying for MAID, or think there is a distinct possibility that you could face a scenario where MAID would be an option in the future (due to your family medical history, for example) talk to your doctor.
Doctors cannot be compelled legally or coerced into providing a medically assisted death. Not all doctors support or believe in these new laws because it can be argued that they are contradictory to the Hippocratic Oath. In an effort to please everyone and be fair, the government has left the decision to offer/provide MAID up to the individual physician. This is certainly a conversation you need to have with your medical practitioner.
If this is a service your physician does not offer, when the time comes, they will refer you to a doctor that does. Since your doctor may not deal with this type of scenario regularly, if it is something you are considering, talking to them well in advance will give them the time they need to find a referral for you.

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