Editorial: Have you registered as an organ donor?

Four minutes could save a life

There are many reasons to register as an organ donor.

In our province alone, there are at least 680 reasons. That is the number of people currently waiting for a transplant in B.C.

The good news is that 1,395,534 British Columbians have done what they can to shrink the number on that waitlist. That is the number of registered donors in B.C.

While that is noble, that accounts for less than 30 per cent of the province’s population.

According to the Canadian Council for Donation and Transplantation, the vast majority of Canadians – 96 per cent – approve, either strongly (71 per cent) or somewhat (25 per cent) of organ donation. Only four per cent of Canadians expressed disapproval (see bit.ly/1Qek5yy for full publication).

So, why is there such a disparity between the approval rating and the act of registering?

That is a question that confounds many experts.

The most common belief is that people simply have not gotten around to it. There’s always time, right?

Well, we can hope so. But the truth is, we don’t know. And the problem is, it’s never too late… until it’s too late.

Another theory is that the need for a transplant does not affect enough of the population for it to be a pressing issue to the majority.

That is understandable. It stands to reason that someone is more likely to be empathetic to a situation if their lives have been touched by it. That is one of the reasons cancer research donations are so incredibly high. Nearly everyone has been touched by the disease in one way or another, and we all want to see the end of it.

In that regard, we are blessed that the need for transplants does not affect nearly the percentage of the population as a disease as terrible as cancer. That said, the need is still there. And the commitment on your part is simple. Four minutes. That’s all it takes to register online at transplantbc.ca

All you need is your BC Health number, and in 240 seconds, you might save someone’s life.

It could be the most selfless, heroic act you ever perform, and it won’t cost you a dime.

Do it now; before it’s too late.

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