HomeNews & TopicsResearchOrgan donations after MAiD made up 14 per cent of deceased donations...

Organ donations after MAiD made up 14 per cent of deceased donations in Quebec

Published on

Organ donation after medical assistance in dying (MAiD) represented 14 per cent of Quebec’s total deceased donations in 2022, according to a new study in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).

To understand the impact of organ donation after MAiD, Quebec researchers analyzed data on all patients referred to Transplant Québec for possible organ donation after MAiD from January 2018 to December 2022. This represented the first 5 full years when organ donation after MAiD was allowed in the province. Over the 5-year period, Transplant Québec received 245 referrals for donation after MAiD, with an increase in annual referrals from 21 in 2018 to 109 in 2022. The total number of donor patients after MAiD was 64, increasing from eight in 2018 to 24 in 2022. Donations after MAiD represented 14 per cent of all deceased organ donations in 2022, and the majority of the donors had neurodegenerative diseases, with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis the most common condition. The average age of donors after MAiD was 60 years, and 64% were male.

“Our analysis of data related to organ donation after MAiD in Quebec shows that organ donation organizations can establish systems that honour the wishes of patients pursuing MAiD to donate their organs after their death,” writes Dr. Matthew Weiss, a pediatric critical care physician at Centre Mère-Enfant Soleil du CHU de Québec, Quebec, and medical director at Transplant Québec, with coauthors. “However, much remains to be learned regarding how to optimize the system to ensure that donation requests are treated in the most ethical and medically effective way.”

The authors note that it is not known how many patients were offered the choice to donate after MAiD or what the consent rate is in that group, as there is currently no system to track this information.

“Patients considering MAiD are among the most vulnerable patients in the health care system, as they have intractable diseases that cause them immense suffering. The desire of some patients to help others after their death must be honoured, but in doing so, donation professionals must assure the system respects their autonomy and dignity,” the authors conclude.

Organ donation after medical assistance in dying: a descriptive study from 2018 to 2022 in Quebec” was published January 29, 2024.

Related articles:

MAiD is not driven by socioeconomic vulnerability or poor access to palliative care

UHN physician helping create standardized curriculum for MAID program across Canada

Should medical assistance in dying be reported to the Coroner?

 

Latest articles

Transformation project reducing unnecessary emergency department transfers from long-term care homes

William Osler Health System (Osler) has partnered with McMaster University (McMaster) on a system-level...

Easing the Transition to the Cloud. Modernizing made simple with integration support.

Across Canada, most hospitals and healthcare authorities recognize the need to modernize their systems....

A quarter of deaths among young adults in Canada were opioid related in 2021

Premature deaths related to opioids doubled between 2019 and 2021 across Canada, with more...

Technology enhancing safety at hospitals

Over the past few years, incidents of violence against healthcare workers has increased worldwide....

More like this

The Connector

In a world where an implantable electrode can reduce the number and intensity of...

Researching a new treatment for sepsis

For people who are in the intensive care unit (ICU) with a serious health...

How AI can reduce turn around times for clinical trial contracts

Unity Health Toronto is one of the first hospitals in Canada to work with...

Navigating the fallout: 23andMe’s data breach and the ethics of consumer genetic testing

By unlocking secrets encrypted within our DNA, genetic testing has become a powerful tool,...

Obesity a risk factor for stillbirth, especially at term

Obesity is a risk factor for stillbirth, and the risk increases as pregnancy advances...

Health care inequities behind shorter life spans for Inuit from Nunavik, Quebec, with lung cancer

People living in the Inuit region of Nunavik in northern Quebec die earlier after...