Should British Columbians be made organ donors by default?

This is a repost from CTV Vancouver. On May 1, Vancouver hosted a Kidney Transplant Summit. Among other things, there was significant discussion about the merits of presumed consent, that is, the presumption that a deceased person has consented to the donation of his or her organs upon death. This is different than the current practice in BC, and indeed, the rest of Canada where one must register as an organ donor.

Watch the video, read the article, and tell me what you think. Thanks.

Should British Columbians be made organ donors by default?

With nearly 500 British Columbians anxiously awaiting organ transplants, there are new calls to make everyone in the province donors by default.

According to the Kidney Foundation of Canada, only 19 per cent of B.C. residents are registered organ donors. That’s a surprisingly low number considering a poll conducted just last year found 95 per cent of the province’s adults support donation.

The answer, according to some advocates, is the system known as presumed consent.

“It’s the gift of life,” kidney disease survivor Joel Solomon told CTV News, “and there is so much suffering that is unnecessary.”

Solomon made a passionate case for presumed consent at the 2015 Kidney Transplant Summit in Vancouver Friday. The system has already been introduced in dozens of European countries, and Solomon said some of them saw donation rates increase as much as 30 per cent.

Most countries also give people the ability to opt-out, but the idea of automatic enrollment is still controversial in Canada.

For Solomon, the issue boils down to basic human decency.

To read more, click here.

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