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Transplant for Alcohol-associated Liver Disease

Current Policy

U.S. Options

We know of only three centres in the U.S. that assess patients with liver failure caused by alcohol without discrimination:

  1. University of Maryland

  2. Ochsner Health, Louisiana

  3. Texas Methodist, Houston

We don't suggest wasting critical time going to any other centre when there is a strong possibility the patient will face rejection a second time.

Even the larger centres, such as Johns Hopkins, Cleveland Clinic and Mayo Clinic, all assess patients as described in the Current Policy section to the left. 

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. 

Liver transplant assessment policy has changed significantly at several Canadian and U.S. centres since 2017. All Canadian centres, except Nova Scotia, and several U.S. centres, will tell you they no longer use the 6-month wait.

This is NOT necessarily good news. Only patients who did not know their drinking is causing liver failure qualify for further assessment for transplant. 

Instead, centres assess based on past alcohol use and treatment. If the patient was told to stop drinking and did not, or has been to rehab and returned to drinking, they are almost always rejected for transplant. 

Patients with chronic liver disease. are rejected under these conditions. 


In 2018, we shared the news that Ontario's two liver transplant centres - UHN in Toronto, and LHSC in London - will assess all persons with alcohol use disorder for transplant like every other patient. 

Within weeks, it became clear the discrimination continued. 

Our court hearing took place on Feb. 23-24. We are waiting for judgment.


All Canadian provinces, except Nova Scotia, have ended the 6-month wait. Continuous legal initiatives and media coverage have helped move the needle. BUT, in place of the Wait, centres eliminate patients who were told to stop drinking and didn't. So, anyone with chronic liver disease is automatically excluded.   

Our fight continues.

Toronto ON  Canada

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