Agency hopes to speed project that doesn’t require sobriety for liver transplant – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Dec 19, 2017 

TORONTO _ The head of Ontario’s organ donor agency says she’s working to speed up a pilot project that would waive six-month sobriety requirements for people in need of liver transplants.

Ronnie Gavsie, president and chief executive of Trillium Gift of Life Network, said in an interview that the agency is “doing everything it can” to accelerate the hiring of staff and resources.

The agency has faced criticism since a young Inuk woman’s family said she was initially told she wouldn’t be eligible for a liver transplant because she resumed drinking within the required six-month abstinence period.

The family of Delilah Saunders, 26, have argued the requirement for people with alcohol-related liver disease should be waived prior to the original planned launch of the three-year pilot program this coming August.

The pilot program is projected to cost about $1 million a year and Gavsie says it requires the hiring of additional staff, though details have yet to be released.

Saunders, who is a well-known Indigenous activist, said Monday in a social media posting that she may not need a liver transplant and she is planning to travel to Labrador to finish her recovery after being treated for several days in Toronto’s University Health Network.


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