The Gift of Life – Nova Scotia takes bold steps

Hooray for Nova Scotia who now presumes that adults are willing to donate their organs when they die. Organ donation is in most jurisdictions, an opt-in system. That means that you must state that when you die, you want your organs to be donated.

Nova Scotia is now implementing a system that means if you do not want to donate – you must opt out. Often times people may have wanted to become a donor upon death – but the family doesn’t want to provide consent. This presumed consent will help many in Nova Scotia, and as always, you can say no.

When my brother Garry passed suddenly on Valentine’s Day at 54 – the hospital contacted me to ask about donation, they were able to use his corneas and give sight to two people in the Detroit/Pontiac area. What a gift to be able to give, and on Valentine’s Day, especially. I miss him dearly, but that is eased somewhat by knowing that my little ‘yes’ was a great gift.

There are too many people who need a donation, heart, kidney, liver, cornea… But, not every death means that organs can be donated. The Trillium Gift of Life Network says that the actual opportunity for organ donation is rare, because of the need to sustain the donor on a ventilator. Only 3% of hospital deaths occur in circumstances that may lead to organ donation. Tissue donation has different requirements.

Did you know that one donor can save up to 8 lives, and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue?

In Ontario, there are around 1,600 people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant. Although Ontario is an opt in system – consider putting your name as a donor, and make sure to let your family and loved ones know that is your desire.