120 people died waiting last year

When asked, most people will say that they have no problem donating their organs so that others may lead healthy, productive lives. The only problem is that the same people with the best intentions fail to complete a donor card. But attitudes are changing, according to a recent survey.

The Decima Research survey shows that 65% of Canadians have now had a family discussion about donating their organs, up from 46% in 1996. This translates to about six million more potential donors.

To increase public awareness and action by this amount is a tremendous boost to Organ Donation programs across the country," says Liz Anne Gillham-Eisner, Organ Donor/Trauma Co-ordinator at Ottawa’s Civic Hospital. "Our goal frankly, is nothing short of 100% participation by Canadians," she says. "Last year, over 120 people died waiting for transplants. We must and we can reduce this number."

While organ donor consent forms on driver licences have been standard for years, donor co-ordinators and medical care team members always approach the family for final consent. A quick, clear decision from the family dramatically increases the odds for a successful transplantation.lmost without exception, these decisions come from families who have had the talk beforehand. So, if you haven’t done it yet: have the talk!