Advocacy for human rights for persons with alcohol-associated liver disease
In 2015, Debra Selkirk filed a constitutional challenge against the 6-month wait for transplant imposed on persons with alcohol use disorder, without the assistance of a lawyer.
On September 18, 2017, it was announced that in the fall of 2018, Ontario's liver transplant centres will assess patients without any mandatory alcohol-free period.
We encourage anyone who is denied a liver transplant because they have not been alcohol-free for six months to file an injunction against the wait as soon as possible.
See below for more information.
Sep 2012: Complaint filed at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO)
Sep 2013: Human Rights Commissioner refuses to intervene
Dec 2013: Complaint dismissed by HRTO on time delay
Mar 2014: Appeal filed in DIvisional Court
Dec 2014: Appeal dismissed by Divisional Court
Nov 2010: Mark Selkirk died from liver failure, denied a liver transplant b/c of 6-mo. wait
Oct 2015: Constitutional challenge filed in Ontario Superior Court of Justice
May 2016: Constitutional challenge stayed while Trillium Gift of Life Network reviewed policy
Sep 2016: Announcement that in Aug 2018, Ontario's liver transplant centres will assess ALD patients without 6-mo. wait.
In 2015, Debra Selkirk filed a constitutional challenge against the 6-month wait for transplant imposed on persons with alcohol use disorder, without the assistance of a lawyer. The respondents - the Government of Ontario, Trillium Gift of Life Network and University Health Network - searched for the opportunity to resolve the matter outside the courtroom.
In September 2018, Debra announced through the press that in August 2018, Ontario's two transplant centres would assess patients without the 6-month wait. Patients will still have to meet the medical and psychosocial requirements applied to all patients.
We encourage anyone who is denied a liver transplant because they have not been alcohol-free for six months to challenge that decision quickly in a court of law. Legal documents for the Selkirk case are available below. We are willing to share research documents to assist someone whose life is threatened by the wait.
If you live in Ontario and believe you have been unfairly assessed or denied assessment because of alcohol use disorder, contact us. We are aware of legal teams experienced in this area who can advise you of legal options.
WHY IS THE 6-MONTH WAIT
~~ Disclaimer: We do not pretend to have medical or legal expertise. The content on our website should not be taken as medical or legal advice. We are simply sharing the knowledge that was acquired during the Selkirk case, conveyed as we understand it.
The following documents were filed in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice on October 27, 2015. We are posting them on our website because they are already on the public record and available for perusal at the Court office.
Notice of Constitutional Question
Notice of Application