Do you have an organ donor card lurking in your wallet? Maybe the one you signed a few years ago when you renewed your driver's license? Would you be shocked to learn that your paper card doesn't mean you are a registered organ and tissue donor?
Many Ontarians would be, so that might explain why 80% of people in this province believe that consenting to organ and tissue donation in advance is important to do, yet only 20% are actually registered.
Retire that old card, health specialists advise. Instead, go online to www.BeADonor.ca and check your status. If you aren't registered, take three minutes to choose 'yes'. Registration is going to save lives.
When Trillium Gift of Life Network (TGLN), the province's central organ and tissue donation agency, is able to give evidence of a loved one's registered consent, families almost always honour that decision to donate. However, in the absence of registered consent, only 50% of families consent to organ donation. One organ donor can save up to eight lives and enhance as many as 75 others through the gift of tissue.
In Ontario today, there are more than 1,500 people on the organ transplant waiting list and every three days one of them will die waiting.
Most religions, says TGLN, support organ and tissue donation because it can save the life of another. If you feel your religion restricts the use of a body after death, consult your religious leader, since these restrictions may not apply to organ and tissue donation if the donation could save a life. Register your consent online at BeADonor.ca or learn more about how you can save and enhance lives through organ and tissue donation.