TORONTO, Aug. 7, 2018 /CNW/ - Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario's government agency responsible for organ and tissue donation and transplantation, announced a milestone today: four million Ontarians have registered consent to donation.
Ontario reached this achievement fittingly during BeADonor Month in April – a month devoted to celebrating and raising awareness for organ and tissue donation.
This past BeADonor Month was incredibly successful, with a 24 per cent increase in new registrations over an average month in 2017. In large part, this was owing to Ontario's overwhelming response to the Humboldt tragedy and Logan Boulet's lifesaving gift. Moved and inspired by his generous act, thousands of Ontarians became registered donors.
"Although we should be proud of our nation's outpouring of support, it should not take a tragedy to jolt people out of their complacency," said Ronnie Gavsie, President and CEO. "Every three days in Ontario we face a tragedy when someone on the waitlist dies because there are not enough organs to meet the need."
Registration is vital
Donor registration has been proven to save lives. Families overwhelming honour their loved ones' decision to donate organs and tissue at end of life, when they are registered. In the absence of registration, families consent to organ donation only half of the time.
"Through organ donor registration, Ontarians are saving lives. Also, registration relieves families of the burden of making a decision to donate organs and tissue on their loved ones behalf during an already difficult time," said Gavsie.
Partnering to save lives
This milestone is also a testament to the strong partnership between Trillium Gift of Life Network and ServiceOntario. Ontarians are offered the opportunity to register consent to donate when renewing a health card or driver's licence. This interaction is fundamental to the donation system because being asked by front-line staff to register consent accounts for 90 per cent of new donor registrations.
Culture of donation
While the vast majority of Ontarians support organ and tissue donation, only one in three have registered their consent to donate.
"Reaching four million registered donors is a momentous breakthrough and something we have worked very hard to achieve, so we certainly want to celebrate this achievement. However, a true culture of donation in the province can only be claimed when the majority of Ontarians are registered," said Gavsie.
Northern Ontario has set the bar with 49 per cent of the eligible population registered. Top-ranked communities include North Bay (56 per cent), Parry Sound (55 per cent) and Sudbury (54 per cent). Central Ontario, including Toronto (23 per cent), Mississauga (21 per cent) and Brampton (18 per cent), falls below the provincial average with only 25 per cent registered.
Ontarians are encouraged to join the four million individuals already registered for organ and tissue donation by visiting www.BeADonor.ca to register or learn more. Registration rates by community are available at www.BeADonor.ca/scoreboard.
Trillium Gift of Life Network is a not-for-profit agency of the Government of Ontario responsible for planning, promoting, coordinating and supporting organ and tissue donation for transplantation across Ontario and improving the system so that more lives can be saved.
SOURCE Trillium Gift of Life Network
For further information: Jennifer Long, Communications Advisor, 416-619-2327, [email protected]