Canada's Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness week brings to light how much of a difference you can make by becoming an organ donor. However, many people are still hesitant to become donors. There's a huge gap between people who believe in organ donation ideologically but are not, themselves, organ donors. According to the Canadian Transplant Society, fewer than 20 per cent of Canadians have made plans to donate their organs - this despite the fact that 90 per cent of Canadians support the process. Fortunately, registering as a donor only takes a few minutes - here are three more reasons you should consider signing up for organ donation:
1. There's a serious need
According to Vancouver News 1130, there are currently over 4,500 people across Canada waiting for an organ transplant. Many of these people need kidneys and are currently stuck on dialysis, a tiring process that can cause nausea, vomiting and muscle cramps. However, people waiting for other kinds of organs - hearts, livers or lungs, for example - are in far more dire and urgent need. There is no process to compensate when these organs fail, so those people's lives are in immediate danger. According to Canadian Blood Services, an average of 250 Canadians die each year waiting for an organ. "One-third of all Canadians who need a transplant will never receive one," Kimberly Young, Canadian Blood Services' director of donation and transplantation, said in a statement. "We encourage Canadians to register as organ and tissue donors and have that very important discussion with their families so their wishes are known ... We can all play such a huge role in turning lives around by making these simple decisions."
"On average, 250 Canadians die yearly waiting for a transplant."
2. You can save multiple lives
If you register to donate your organs when you die, your passing can save the lives of up to eight people. If you register to be a tissue donor, you can improve the lives of up to 75 others. Organ and tissue donation makes a huge impact on the world around you. Though planning for or chatting with your family about your own mortality can be stressful, it's well worth considering what kind of difference that decision will make.
3. It won't change much for your family
One of the major reasons many people decline becoming organ donors is they think it will upend or disrupt their family's grieving process. However, if you make your wishes to donate clear to your loved ones, organ donation will have little to no effect on those around you. Nearly all organ and tissue donors are able to have an open-casket funeral, and the donation process is done at no cost to your friends and family. Moreover, many people are comforted by the impact their loved one's organ donation has on others - if you want to donate, talk to your family and make sure they understand the good that will come from that decision.