McMaster University

McMaster University

Transfusion and Hematology Session 2

Title: Ethics in Transfusion Medicine and Hematology

Methods: Case discussion

Aims and objectives:
  1. Recognize some ethical issues relevant in Transfusion Medicine and Hematology
  2. Demonstrate understanding of informed consent and critical analysis of the concept.
  3. Describe the features of ethical decision-making in resource allocation.

Case part 1: Consent for blood products

Tracy Callier is a bright 11 year old who, tragically, was hit by a car on her walk home from school on an icy country road. She needs emergency surgery and a blood transfusion due to a substantial loss of blood. Her parents arrived soon after the ambulance brought Tracy in to the small community hospital where you work.

Suggested questions for discussion:

  1. Do you need to seek consent to transfuse Tracy
  2. Who can give informed consent in this case?
  3. What factors might make informed consent more complicated in this case?
    1. Age
    2. Emergency
    3. What if Tracy’s parents had not arrived on time?
    4. Availability of blood for transfusion
  4. Do you need to seek consent for the transfusion as part of the surgery?
  5. What information would be necessary to share to provide adequate informed consent for the transfusion?
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