La régulation de la réutilisation du matériel médical à usage unique au Québec

Elsa Acem


The reuse of single-use devices, such as dialyzers, pacemakers, and catheters, is a chapter of Québec history that remains unknown to many in the legal community, as well as a large number of citizens. This practice was never formally prohibited through regulations or legislation in Québec, but a certain type of normative framework emerged over the years, composed of a quasi-regulatory directive from the Ministry of Health and Social Services, as well as several reports from consultative agencies such as the Conseil d’évaluation des technologies de la santé du Québec (now the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux), the Association des hôpitaux du Québec, and the Centre provincial de référence en stérilisation. This article examines in detail the informal regulation of the reuse of single-use devices in Québec since 1976 and concludes that Québec seems to have purposely chosen to adopt a model of regulation through deliberation that aimed to achieve consensus among those engaged in reuse, that is, health care professionals and hospitals.

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