Every year since 1997 the BC Transplant Society has held a campaign educating people about how to become an organ donor. The process changed in 1997, with people being required to sign up for the provincial donor registry. So let’s be clear: if you are old enough to have had a sticker on your licence or Care card, you still have to sign up for the organ donor registry.
BC Transplant is still trying to get the word out. They have done studies that show 95 per cent of British Columbians support organ donation, however only 20 per cent are signed up.
Less than one per cent of people die in a way that would enable them to become organ donors. Last year, 422 transplants of various organs were done in B.C. However, there are still more than 500 people on waiting lists, and last year 21 people died while waiting for a transplant.
April is National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness month in Canada, and we want to help get the word out that organ donation is an option.
Deciding to be a donor is an intimately personal decision; consider how difficult it would be for your loved ones to be approached by a doctor asking if they know your wishes. The donor registry helps take away that painful scenario, because you can sign your own intent so medical staff knows for sure what your wishes are.
Organ donation is a most incredible gift—the gift of life—and we ask you to consider it. You can find more information at www.transplant.bc.ca.
— ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS