Organ Donation in the Context of Physician Assisted Dying

Professor Jennifer Chandler, University of Ottawa
12:00pm - 1:00pm
Faculty of Law McLennan Ross Hall (Rm 231/237)

Abstract:
The Supreme Court of Canada’s recent unanimous ruling in Carter v. Canada found that physician assisted death (PAD) is permissible for “a competent adult person who (1) clearly consents to the termination of life and (2) has a grievous and irremediable medical condition (including an illness, disease or disability) that causes enduring suffering that is intolerable to the individual in the circumstances of his or her condition.” The ruling opens the door for the possibility of organ donation (OD) after PAD. Cases of this type are likely to be rare, but it is also likely that a patient will eventually make this request. While countries such as Belgium have some experience with OD after PAD, the combined practice is ethically contentious and its potential application in a Canadian context has yet to be explored.

Bio:
Jennifer Chandler, B.Sc. (Biology) (University of Western Ontario), LL.B. (Queen’s University), LL.M. (Harvard), joined the University of Ottawa's Faculty of Law in 2002, after practising law in Canada with a national law firm and serving as a law clerk to the Hon. Mr. Justice John Sopinka of the Supreme Court of Canada. She is now an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Law, where she teaches “Mental Health Law and Neuroethics,” as well as “Medical-Legal Issues,” and “Tort Law.” She holds a reading group for students interested in ethico-legal questions raised by emerging research in cognitive neuroscience and behavioural genetics, as well as issues in mental health law. She has also taught a graduate level course called “Technoprudence,” which addresses the philosophy of law and technology. Jennifer Chandler researches and writes about the legal and ethical aspects of advances in biomedical science and technology, with particular interest in neuroethics, organ donation and regenerative medicine. Recently she has written on the legal implications of advances in neurotherapies and neuro-imaging technologies, regulatory policy related to medical practices such as organ donation and transplantation, and the ethics and law of scientific inquiry.

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