Virtual Conference: Key Policies Issues in Organ Donation & Transplantation
FOCUS: The key current and emerging policy challenges facing the Canadian organ donation and transplantation system.
Major challenges flow from Canada’s federal structure given that an optimal ODT system coordinates and shares amongst a large pool of donors and recipients. In recent years, policy shifts in the area of organ donation law (Nova Scotia’s shift to presumed consent) and in other areas of law (the adoption and potential expansion of medical assistance in dying) have raised new questions. Death definition and determination criteria are also critical policy and legal issues for donation – with important research emerging from Canada that affect the application of the dead donor rule, as well as a new Canadian initiative to develop a legislated definition of death.
On the transplantation side, equally important policy challenges exist. In recent years, media coverage and multiple legal challenges have put the 6-month alcohol abstinence rule for liver transplant listing into the limelight. Other listing contra-indications related to mental health and cognitive disability have not been widely discussed, but raise important legal and human rights issues as well.
Cross-cutting issues affecting both donation and transplantation must also be discussed – including the manner in which COVID-19 has and will affect the way in which OR and ICU resources are rationed (e.g. deprioritizing donation to create space for COVID-19 patients) and how potential transplant recipients are prioritized.
The virtual conference will be on June 17-18, 2021.