Save lives with "Opt-Out" AKA "Implied Consent" organ donation
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My name is Michael R. Gaudet. In 1979 I was diagnosed with kidney failure and was placed on emergency dialysis that saved my life at age 19. Only 7 months later (though it seemed like an eternity), my loving brother Steven stepped up to donate one of his kidneys. His gift of life sustained me for over 34 glorious years!
However, in May of 2014, my kidney transplant failed and I was obliged to return to dialysis 3x a week in Saskatoon, with no end in sight as of December 2017.
Sadly, I’m not alone in this situation. In 2014, there were 20,690 patients in Canada on dialysis. Every year, thousands of Canadians are added to organ wait lists, yet Canada’s donation rate is just 18 donors per million people. An opt-out system - meaning people would be presumed to be organ donors unless they specifically opted out - would increase this very low number, helping to save lives.
In Saskatchewan, there are more than 700 people who must rely on dialysis because of kidney disease, a number which steadily increases each year. Dialysis is an expensive and unwieldy way to buy time for all of these people, who could resume their normal lives with a kidney transplant. The province’s donation rate is even lower than the rest of Canada – less than 1% of people who die in Saskatchewan donate any organ or tissue.
Before the last provincial election in Saskatchewan, incumbent Brad Wall eyed presumed or opt-out consent to boost organ donation in the province. Apparently, this was an easy promise to make, because the cost of implementation is negligible. This initiative has not come to fruition.
This petition calls on the Saskatchewan Party to follow through with this election promise. An opt-out system of organ donation could save hundreds of lives. If Saskatchewan shows leadership, I hope other provinces will follow.
Please sign and share my petition.
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