CDTRP Special Interview with Dr. Murdoch Leeies for Pride Month 2023

As we celebrate Pride Month, the importance of inclusive healthcare practices is more evident than ever. It’s crucial for healthcare providers to create a safe environment for all patients, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or any other aspect of their identity. Inclusive healthcare policies and practices help to ensure that everyone receives equitable care, regardless of who they are, and can help to reduce healthcare disparities. It’s important to celebrate the strides that have been made in 2SLGBTQ+ healthcare, while also recognizing that there’s still more work to be done to ensure that everyone receives the care they need and deserve.

In this special interview with CDTRP’s Communications Manager, Stéphanie, Dr. Murdoch Leeies, an accomplished researcher and advocate for the sexual and gender minority populations, shares his insights on the progress and challenges faced in the field of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Last year, Dr. Leeies shared his vision for a research program that focuses on addressing the inequities faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ population in accessing the benefits of organ and tissue donation and transplantation (read more). Since then, he and his team have made considerable progress in this area. They have learned that the barriers faced by sexual and gender minority populations in the OTDT system are multifaceted and require a nuanced approach. The lack of awareness, systemic discrimination, and inadequate healthcare services are just some of the challenges the community faces.

Dr. Leeies’s team partnered with the Community-Based Research Centre to release a policy brief that calls on Health Canada to end discriminatory practices in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. The report highlights the urgency of the situation and draws attention to the need for systemic change.

“We need to create a system that is inclusive, respectful, and equitable for all individuals irrespective of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or expression,” notes Dr. Leeies. “Our team has extensively researched and analyzed the data to make recommendations that will bring about systemic change in the OTDT system.”

The report recommends several steps, including increasing awareness of the need for organ and tissue donation in the 2SLGBTQ+ population, developing training programs for healthcare providers, and involving community organizations to ensure that 2SLGBTQ+ individuals are represented in organ and tissue donation campaigns.

As Pride Month 2023 advances, it’s time to reflect on the challenges faced by the 2SLGBTQ+ population. Dr. Leeies’s research program and his team’s recommendations offer a beacon of hope to a community that deserves equitable access to healthcare services. The need for systemic change in the OTDT system is a shared responsibility, and it’s our collective duty to work towards ending discrimination.

Listen to the full interview below.
Don’t miss the CDTRP Research Connect with Dr. Murdoch Leeies on June 27!

On June 27, 2023 we are pleased to have Dr. Murdoch Leeies, an organ donation, critical care medicine and emergency medicine specialist physician based in Manitoba, to present on the topic: “Enhanced sociodemographic variable collection in OTDT systems” as part of the CDTRP Theme 1 – Improve a Culture of Donation.

  • Date: Tuesday, June 27, 2023
  • Time: 1-2 pm EDT
  • Online: Zoom
About Dr. Murdoch Leeies

Dr. Leeies is an organ donation, critical care medicine and emergency medicine specialist physician based in Manitoba. Trained as a clinician investigator, he serves as the Director of Research for the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Manitoba.

Dr.Leeies leads a collaborative program of research with a focus on promoting health equity in organ and tissue donation and transplantation. This intersectional research program pairs with his clinical work as an organ donation specialist physician with the Transplant Manitoba Gift of Life program. Dr. Leeies extends his commitment to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) through academic and clinical service as the Director of EDI nationally for the Canadian Critical Care Society, and the Chair and Co-Chair (respectively) of the EDI committees for Critical Care Medicine and Emergency Medicine in Manitoba.

Dr. Leeies was recently awarded the Preparing for Research by Engaging Public and Patient Partners (PREPPP) Award from the University of Manitoba Centre for Healthcare Innovation in support of the development of a 2SLGBTQIA+ Patient & Public Advisory Team which will partner in the development of patient-centered research that explores the inequities that 2SLGBTQIA+ persons face in the Canadian organ and tissue donation and transplantation system. Through this work Dr. Leeies hopes to generate knowledge that can inform the reformation of structural and systemic elements of the health system that uphold these inequities.