Colleagues,

In today's National Post and the Globe and Mail, there are stories about a potential recipient and potential organ donor. As you know, we must hold all information about our patients as confidential which means that we never comment on the care of individuals at UHN. We are bound in law to confidentiality and we take that responsibility as a duty.

We do talk about process, as it applies to all patients who receive their care at UHN.

Our transplant team and program are leaders in their field. They are often the first to try a new procedure or to offer a new service and they do so as a team. The team considers all elements of care including the ethical framework within which decisions are made.

Leaders break new ground and must use their experience of ​what has worked in the past to establish the guidelines and policies which will serve them well in uncharted territory. I have attached the transplant team's Ethical Guidelines for the Donation of Organs because it demonstrates the thought that has gone in to this procedure. Those who express the willingness to donate an organ represent a level of altruism that is seldom seen. There is always a risk, however small, associated with such a donation and the health care team which recommends individuals for such a donation are always conscious that harm might come to the donor.

There are no easy decisions in this field. I have complete confidence that the transplant teams at UHN work within an ethical framework and make the best judgments they can about accepting donations of organs from individuals.

 

Bob Bell, President and CEO, UHN​

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