The Globe and Mail
In the last moments before Bob Blackwood died, the doctor
paused and, in front of a hushed crowd of operating-room staff, thanked
Mr. Blackwood for the gift he was about to give.
It was the summer of 2017 and Mr. Blackwood, a 63-year-old
former lawyer with a rare and excruciating neurological disorder, was
about to become the first patient in Quebec’s eastern townships to
donate his organs after receiving a medically assisted death.
“[The doctor] said he hoped that this was something they’ll be able to do more in the future to help save lives,” said Heather Ross, Mr. Blackwood’s widow. “It was just lovely how he put it.” . . . [Full text]
James Downar, Sam D. Shemie, Clay Gillrie, Marie-Chantal Fortin, Amber Appleby, Daniel Z. Buchman, Christen Shoesmith, Aviva Goldberg, Vanessa Gruben, Jehan Lalani, Dirk Ysebaert, Lindsay Wilson and Michael D. Sharpe
- First-person consent for organ donation after medical assistance in dying (MAiD) or withdrawal of life-sustaining measures (WLSM) should be an option in jurisdictions that allow MAiD or WLSM and donation after circulatory determination of death.
- The most important ethical concern — that the decision for MAiD or WLSM is being driven by a desire to donate organs — should be managed by ensuring that any discussion about organ donation takes place only after the decision for MAiD or WLSM is made.
- If indications for MAiD change, this guidance for policies and the practice of organ donation after MAiD should be reviewed to ensure that the changes have not created new ethical or practical concerns. . .
- [Full text]
Downar J, Shemie SD, Gillrie C, Fortin M-C, Amber Appleby A, Buchman DZ, Shoesmith C, Goldberg A, Gruben V, Lalani J, Ysebaert D, Wilson L, Sharpe MD. Deceased organ and tissue donation after medical assistance in dying and other conscious and competent donors: guidance for policy. CMAJ. 2019 Jun 3;191(22):E604-E613. doi: 10.1503/cmaj.181648.