Determining potential policy solutions for normothermic regional perfusion in organ donation in Canada through analysis and resolution of two key ethical challenges
Although organs recovered from deceased donors save the lives of thousands of Canadians annually, organ supply is still insufficient to meet demand. Normothermic regional perfusion (NRP) is a new organ recovery technology that could reduce this shortfall by improving the quantity and quality of donated organs. NRP works by perfusing organs in the donor’s body after death in donation after circulatory death (DCD). Despite its promise, NRP faces ethical challenges. In a previous study, our team identified two major concerns: (1) perceptions among healthcare providers and the public that NRP violates the ‘dead donor rule,’ the rule that organ recovery cannot begin until after a donor has died; and (2) uncertainty about how to obtain valid surrogate consent to NRP. While implementing NRP would align with Canadian Blood Services' goal of increasing the quality and quantity of transplantable organs, these ethical challenges must be addressed before NRP’s implementation to preserve the hard-won stakeholder trust in Canada’s deceased donation systems. To inform the development of responsible policy governing NRP, we will build on our team’s prior work and (a) conduct structured ethical analyses of these ethical issues and (b) conduct a policy assessment to outline solutions based on our analyses.
Principal Investigator / SupervisorWEIJER, Charles
Co-Investigator(s) / TraineeBADENOCH, Heather BASMAJI, John BRAHMANIA, Mayur CHANDLER, Jennifer HEALEY, Andrew LINGARD, Lorelei MURPHY, Nicholas OTT, Mary SHEMIE, Sam SKARO, Anton SLESSAREV, Marat
ProgramJames Kreppner Award Program
Total Amount Awarded$50,000.00
Project Start Date
Project End Date