Organ donation isn’t for everyone. Depending on religious beliefs or personal preference, some people choose to not donate their organs after death. But for those of us who don’t have any stipulations about organ donation, the question remains — why don’t more of us register to become donors?
According to B.C. Transplant, there is a critical shortage of organs available for transplant not only in B.C., but all over the world.
In 2013, B.C. had the highest living donor rate in the country of 28 per million and 14.5 per million in deceased donor rate – equalling the national average. There were 346 transplants and the number of organ donors (130 living and 67 deceased) increased as well. But the numbers are still very low compared to the number of people that die in the province each year.
Volunteers with B.C. Transplant say some people still aren’t aware they even have to register to become a donor.
Fifteen years ago, the method of becoming a donor included simply putting a dot on your drivers licence.
Now, that method is no longer valid and people wishing to become donors must register directly with B.C. Transplant.
After death, each person has the ability to help up to 75 different people and save or extend the lives of as many as seven people by becoming an organ donor.
Currently there are 473 people in B.C. waiting for vital organs, approximately 10 of which live somewhere on the Saanich Peninsula.
Many of these people will wait years for an organ to become available, and for some it may be too late.
As of June, only 38% of people living on the Saanich Peninsula had registered as donors.
The numbers speak for themselves. More of us need to step up and take the few minutes it requires to register as an organ donor at www.transplant.bc.ca.
You could end up saving a life right in your own backyard.