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Organ donation increasing among recipients of medical aid in dying

Quebec researchers say organ donation appears to be increasing among people who receive medical aid in dying (MAID), as they call for greater collaboration to support people who choose to donate, as well as respect for their autonomy and dignity.

Researchers say that 64 people in Quebec donated their organs after receiving medical aid in dying between 2018 and 2022, noting donations from this group increased to 14 per cent of all organs donated in the last year of their study.

They say they analyzed data from all MAID recipients referred to Transplant Québec during the five-year study period for potential organ donation and found that the number of donors had increased to 24 in 2022, up from eight in 2018.

Of the 245 people referred, 82 were selected.

Of these, 64 were deemed medically suitable and donated a total of 182 organs, including kidneys, livers and lungs.

These are the same organs usually harvested by standard donation after a person's death.

Of the 163 referred patients who did not donate, 91 were deemed medically unfit and 21 withdrew completely.

However, 34 patients, or nearly 21 per cent, refused for unspecified reasons that require further study, said lead author Dr. Matthew Weiss, the medical director of Transplant Québec.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 29, 2024. Top Stories

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