Thanks to all for a successful International Legislative and Policy Forum on Organ Donation and Transplantation and Québec Forum

On October 14 and 15, Transplant Québec hosted and the Canadian Donation and Transplantation Research Program (CDTRP) co-hosted its first ever International Donation and Transplantation Legislative and Policy ForumOver 500 participants from over 40 countries had registered to attend either in person or virtually. This scientific event identified opportunities and provided recommendations for legislative and policy improvements in areas including ethics, laws, consent models, tissue and living donations, research and innovation and donation system architecture.

The Forum’s participants highlighted the importance of strong and clear regulations in order to ensure the effectiveness of quality processes as well as donation and transplantation safety protocols. Also cited was the importance of specifying the roles and responsibilities of all actors in the organ donation and transplantation system, clarifying the governance structure overseeing implementation compliance and the evaluation of best practices, ensuring that system players have access to sufficient and appropriate resources at all times, and the training of clinical teams and the public at each stage of the organ donation process.

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“We are truly thrilled to support the engagement of our Canadian community in this international discussion.  All of these discussed issues on organ and tissue transplant and donation were informed by research. It is very exciting to link scientists, researchers, and experts together in the international arena to develop knowledge resources that will serve decision makers in implementation of positive change in donation and transplantation policies, practices, systems, research and innovation. It is only through collaboration across disciplines and sectors that we can make this happen.”

– Dr. Marie-Josée, Hébert, Scientific Co-Director of the CDTRP.

This Forum ultimately will provide an international reference for jurisdictions wanting to develop or revise their legal framework on organ and tissue donation and transplantation.  These recommendations will be distributed through the scientific literature, conferences, workshops, and reports.

Immediately after the International component of the Forum, on October 15, a Forum on the future of organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Québec occurred. This included participants from Québec’s political and clinical domains, patient and family partners on what to prioritize to improve the legislative and policy framework of Québec.  This Forum, which had numerous international experts, was the perfect opportunity, 50 years after the creation of Transplant Québec, to reflect on the best means to improve donation and transplantation using scientific data and to make Québec a leader in the field.  A product of this Forum was that all Québec political parties pledged to initiate a dialogue concerning the reform of organ and tissue donation, one that includes a frank discussion with Québecers on the subject. You may read the press release from Transplant Québec here.

In collaboration with the CDTRP, Transplant Québec next winter will present its final recommendations arising from this consultation with experts and the public, the first step in a wide-ranging and necessary collective reflection.

Both CDTRP and Transplant Québec recognize and appreciate the significant financial support given by the Quebec Ministry of Health and Social Services that has allowed for the development of these two events.  We also thank our speakers, committee members, and partners (The Transplant Society, Canadian Blood Services and the Canadian Society of Transplantation) for their contributions.