Official launch of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week



    MONTREAL, April 23 /CNW Telbec/ - There are currently 1,040 Quebecers
awaiting an organ transplant. Unfortunately, 40 to 50 of these people will die
because they are unable to find a donor within the next few months. These are
some of the sobering facts and stark realities that have come to light.
    It's also what lends further importance to organ donations. As part of
the official launch of National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week,
which runs from April 22-29, Montreal mayor Gérald Tremblay welcomed Me Denis
Marsolais, the president of the Chambre des notaires du Québec, and Carole
Blouin, Board Chairperson of Québec-Transplant, at a City Hall ceremony today.
With many organ recipients, donors and representatives of organizations
devoted to the cause in the audience, the spokespeople presented a series of
eloquent statistics that clearly convey the need to increase the number of
organ and tissue donors.
    In the days to come, Quebecers will be made aware of the importance of
becoming an organ and tissue donor by signing their health-insurance card, or
even better, expressing their consent in the Chambre des notaires du Québec
Registry.
    "It is essential that awareness efforts be maintained to persuade our
citizens to make this generous gesture of donating organs and tissues,"
declared mayor Tremblay. "As this year's campaign slogan says, we indeed have
the power to change things for the more than 1000 Quebecers who are waiting
for an organ or tissue donation."

    A thought-provoking cause for the entire population

    "Québec-Transplant's objective is clear: do everything we can to reduce
the waiting time to receive a transplant, and as a result reduce the risk of
people dying while they're waiting for a transplant," stated Carole Blouin,
Board Chairperson of Québec-Transplant. "One of the key measures in this
regard is to increase the number of donor consents. National Organ and Tissue
Donation Awareness Week is an excellent way to generate awareness, because the
idea of organ donations will be in the public eye and will benefit from the
support of a number of public and private partners, associations and
foundations, along with drawing media attention. Organ donations are something
that we all need to stop and think about."

    Consent Registry success surpasses expectations

    The Chambre des notaires du Québec partnered with Québec-Transplant and
the Quebec healthcare network in 2006 to create the Organ and Tissue Donation
Consent Registry. Since its launch in January of that year, notaries have
collected more than 130,000 organ-donation consents in conjunction with the
writing of a will or mandate, double the objective the Chambre had set.
    "The writing of a will or mandate is the appropriate time to think about
the eventuality of donating organs or tissues," said Me Denis Marsolais,
president of the Chambre des notaires du Québec. "The level of confidence
between notary and client when either of these documents are being drawn lends
itself to such thoughts and promotes a better understanding of the issues
related to what they are about to do in making this gesture. The Registry
helps clear up any confusion that might occur when a decision has to be made
on behalf of the potential donor. Once the potential donor's wishes are
consigned to the Registry, it removes any doubt."

    A week filled with awareness-creating activities

    Québec-Transplant, the Chambre des notaires du Québec and organizations
related to the cause have planned a wealth of awareness-creating activities
throughout the province during National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness
Week. Highlighting these activities are a series of noon-hour conferences in
60 Quebec hospital centres, where a doctor or healthcare professional, a donor
recipient and a notary will speak on this pertinent subject.




For further information:

For further information: Antonin Fortin, Director of Communications,
Chambre des notaires du Québec, (514) 879-1793, extension 5912,
antonin.fortin@cdnq.org

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Chambre des notaires du Québec

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Transplant Québec

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