VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A Coquitlam man says if he’s a match, he’s willing to donate his liver to an Indigenous man challenging organ donation sobriety rules at the Human Rights Tribunal.
David Dennis is a chronic alcoholic with end-stage liver disease who was removed from the transplant waitlist. He has launched a formal challenge through the BC Human Rights Tribunal against the policy that transplant recipients must remain sober for six months before a liver transplant.
He claims the policy discriminates against Indigenous people because centuries of harmful and racist government policies have led to a disproportionate rate of alcohol abuse in the community.
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When Bronson Dandy heard Dennis’ story, he says he knew he had to do something.
“For me, it has nothing to do with his race or anything else. The guy says he wants to live,” Dandy said. “I was an alcoholic for years, but I’ve been sober for almost six years. I was at the verge of death as well. This would be something that would help both of us in our sobriety.”
Now a certified addictions counselor, Dandy says he doesn’t agree with Dennis’ human rights challenge and accepts the need for donors to remain sober before transplant, but questions the supports in place to help people stay on the waitlist.
“What’s in place to help him continue to be sober for those six months rather than just kicking him off the wait list? It just doesn’t seem fair to me,” he said.
As of July 31, around 40 people have received liver transplants this year.