Editorial: Two minutes could save a life

April is Organ Donor Awareness Month

According to BC Stats (bcstats.gov.bc.ca), there are 4,707,000 people living in our province.

According to BC Transplant (transplant.bc.ca), there are 978,530 registered organ donors in the province.

Those numbers are much too far apart.

That’s barely 20 per cent of the B.C. population that has bothered to put aside the two minutes it takes to become a registered organ donor.

That’s it. Two minutes.

You can register online, today, in less time than the average prime time TV station break lasts. It’s painless, selfless, and you could be saving a life.

There is an odd, unexplainable disconnect between the percentage of people in B.C. who are proponents of organ donation, and the percentage of us who have taken the time to register as organ donors.

BC Transplant reports that 95 per cent of British Columbians support organ donation. So why is it only 20 per cent of us have registered?

There are currently 562 people in the province awaiting organ transplants. Last year, 21 people died waiting.

Part of the problem last year was, of all the people who died in our province, only 95 were registered organ donors. How many of those 21 would still be alive today, had more people registered as organ donors?

Granted, B.C.’s per capita numbers are better than the national average, but no matter how you dress it up, 20 per cent still means four out of five people have not registered to be organ donors.

The most practical solution would be for Canada to adopt the “opt out” system for organ donation, meaning unless you specifically deny donation, you are considered automatically registered. But until such a system is in place, transplant patients must rely on “we, the people” to do the right thing, and register as organ donors.

Go to transplant.bc.ca and register to be an organ donor today. It might well be the most heroic thing you will ever do.

Last year, 21 families were unnecessarily shattered.  We can lower that number.

Two minutes. That’s all you need. It could save a life. Maybe more than one.

–Terry Farrell

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