(Correspondence) Organ Donation after Medical Assistance in Dying — Canada’s First Cases

Ian M. Ball, Andrew Healey, Sean Keenan, Fran Priestap, John Basmaji, ,Kimia Honarmand, ,Jeanna Parsons Leigh, ,Sam Shemie, ,Prosanto Chaudhury,,Jeffrey M Singh, Jeffrey Zaltzman,Stephen Beed, Matthew Weiss

New England Journal of Medicine, NEJM
New England Journal of Medicine

The provision of organ donation after medically assisted euthanasia involves unusual challenges, including first-person direct consent, navigation of a new legislative landscape, and incorporation of the legislated requirements of euthanasia into the donation process. Ethical issues involving the well-being of health care workers and conscientious objection have also been raised.

Medical assistance in dying followed by organ donation is new to North America. It is evolving, and if offered to potential donors it provides them with the opportunity to fulfill their dying wishes. Secondarily, this process may make more organs available to patients on transplant waiting lists. There is substantial room for enhanced education of both the public and health care workers and for the evolution of clinical practice. National level, prospective data will be necessary to assess this evolving area of care.

Ball IM, Healey A, Keenan S, Priestap F, Basmaji J, Honarmand K et al. Organ Donation after Medical Assistance in Dying — Canada’s First Cases. N Engl J Med. 2020;382(6):576-577.

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