Grieving Parents and Organ Donation
July 22, 2013
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley
Emile Therien and his wife Beth are passionate spokespersons on organ and tissue donation. He tells us about the story of their family and their daughter Sarah Beth, who died of sudden cardiac arrest in June, 2006. He discusses his family’s feelings about death and organ donation. He summarizes the benefits of organ donation for recipients, donors and greiving families, explains the needs for organ donations and donors, and describes the progress that’s being made and the challenges that remain. He discusses the questions that parents ask themselves about life support and related medical matters, about their family’s religious, ethical and social beliefs, and about their child’s wishes. He explains the answers that he and his family accepted. He says what more things he wants to do and see done to help parents grieving the death of a child and making decisions about organ donation. He shares his message to families and family caregivers grieving the death of a child.
Family Caregivers Unite!
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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.
Dr. Gordon Atherley
Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.
Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.