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Indigenous woman's liver assessed after outcry over earlier transplant refusal

Delilah Saunders
Delilah Saunders - Facebook

A young Inuk woman suffering from acute liver failure is being assessed at an organ transplant centre in Toronto after her family in Labrador launched a campaign to overturn earlier refusals to put her on a transplant waiting list.

Doctors had told Delilah Saunders she was not eligible to go on a waiting list in Ontario because the advocate for Indigenous rights had not abstained from alcohol for a minimum of six months.

However, her younger brother says she was transferred from The Ottawa Hospital late Thursday night to the University Health Network, where she is receiving treatment.

Garrett Saunders says his sister's condition seems to be improving, and he says doctors told him they are assessing whether her liver may recover.

The 26-year-old women was admitted to The Ottawa Hospital with acute liver failure on Saturday.

Transplant physicians have said the six-month abstinence policy is widely applied, in part because there is research showing that some alcoholics resume drinking after a transplant, leading to liver failure.

The Canadian Press

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