Tag: Assisted Suicide

06 Jul

Billing Physician Assisted Deaths

Doreen So Ethical Issues, General Interest, Health / Medical, In the News, News & Events Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

I have blogged about assisted suicide in the past with reference to the Canadian television show Mary Kills People.  The availability of assisted suicide continues to be a subject of public interest as each province deals with the implementation of the outcome of Supreme Court of Canada decision in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General).

As reported by The Globe and Mail, one particular doctor has removed himself from a roster of doctors who will administer assisted deaths because of changes to the physician fee schedule in British Columbia.  Notwithstanding his support for assisted death, Dr. Jesse Pewarchuk of Vancouver Island wrote a letter to his colleagues to explain that the new fee schedule made “medical assistance in dying” economically untenable for his practice.

According to Kelly Grant of the Globe and Mail,

“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.”

Within the same article, it was reported that Ontario does not have specific billing codes for this type of medical service at this present time.

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading.

Doreen So

31 Jan

Mary Kills People: A New Canadian TV Show on Assisted Suicide

Doreen So Elder Law, Estate Planning, Ethical Issues, General Interest, Health / Medical, In the News Tags: , , , , , , , 0 Comments

Mary Kills People is a brand new Canadian television show starring Caroline DhavernasMary Kills People is a fictional show which centers around Dr. Mary Harris, an ER doctor who engages in assisted suicide.  The series premier took place on January 25, 2017.  According to this Toronto Star interview with the show’s writer, Tara Armstrong, Tara came up with the idea for the show while she was at the University of British Columbia.

As you may be aware from our blog, by reasons dated February 6, 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada found the criminal code prohibitions against physician assisted suicide to be unconstitutional.  This landmark decision originated in proceedings before the British Columbia Supreme Court.  In 2011, the Plaintiffs in Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), amongst other evidence, put forth 13 affidavits from individuals who wished to have the option of assisted suicide.  The Plaintiffs also sought to admit additional witness evidence, on an anonymous basis, from a person called “L.M.” who swore an affidavit which set out the circumstances in which his terminally ill father had ended his own life with the help of his physician and how L.M., his sister, and his sister’s physician assisted L.M.’s terminally ill mother in ending her life.  In an order to protect L.M.’s identity the Plaintiffs’ also sought procedural relief which would allow L.M. to be cross-examined and/or testify behind a screen.  However, this relief was rejected by the Hon. Madam Justice Smith at first instance and L.M.’s evidence was not a part of the trial record.  See Carter v. Canada (Attorney General), [2011] B.C.J. No. 1897, for this particular evidentiary ruling.

While I have not seen the show (yet), and I am not aware of the inspiration or research behind the show, it will be fascinating to see if and how the role of the Courts and judicial reform will be featured on Mary Kills People.

Click here for the Season 1 teaser of Mary Kills People.

Happy reading (and watching)!

Doreen So

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