N.L. organ donor policy 'less than ideal' says national group
The Canadian Transplant Association says the Newfoundland and Labrador government should take another look at its organ donor policy.
"Anything that prevents organ donation is not OK with me," the association's national president, Dr. Aubrey Goldstein, said in an email to CBC.
Goldstein was asked to comment after a family from York Harbour, on Newfoundland's west coast, complained they wanted to donate a loved one's organs, but a new transplant policy put up barriers.
Derek Park's family was told his body, on life support, would have to be flown 800 kilometres to St. John's where a transplant team would retrieve his organs and then send him back to Corner Brook.
There was no room on the air ambulance for relatives, so they would have to make their own way across the province to be with Park in his final hours.
They decided not to donate his organs.
The national transplant association told CBC that it realizes not all hospitals have the resources needed to do organ retrieval. But it said in Ontario, surgical teams do travel to smaller hospitals if they are a long way from a transplant centre.
Goldstein, a medical doctor with experience in the emergency room and continuing care, received a life-saving liver transplant in 1998.
He described the N.L. situation as "less than ideal."
His advice to the health minister here; "I think this policy needs to be rethought. Or the methods by which it's accomplished revisited."