Organ Donation - Opinion Editorial

    Ontario needs more organ donors

    TORONTO, Aug. 16 /CNW/ - Over 1700 patients in this province are waiting
for a life-saving transplant. That is why we have introduced a new organ
donation strategy that removes some of the barriers that make it difficult for
people to take that courageous step to donate.
    Our made-in-Ontario strategy will help to increase the rate of organ
donations on a number of fronts.
    We will work to increase public awareness of the importance of organ
donation, especially among the province's youth. This will be done through the
expansion of the One Life, Many Gifts high school program that has been such a
success in London, Ontario, and through a youth-focused on-line campaign.
    We will encourage more people to become living organ donors by increasing
the financial support available to them. People who choose to become living
organ donors face a lot of financial pressures, having to pay for things like
travel, accommodation, food, and day care for children. We will be helping to
take that financial burden away by covering those costs, up to $5,500 per
transplant. We will also work with employers and labour organizations to
develop legislation that, if passed, would provide job security for living
    We will improve the collection and sharing of information that identifies
people who have expressed their wishes to donate their organs after death.
This will help ensure that individuals' organ donation wishes are known and
    Ontario needs informed donors who are willing and able to take that
heroic step and donate, a system that will protect and support them in their
decision and the organization that will help ensure donors choices are
respected and carried through.
    Our new organ donation strategy prepares the province to meet this
growing need. Together we can save even more lives in the future.

    George Smitherman
    Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

For further information:

For further information: A.G. Klei (416) 314-6187

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Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

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