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Alberta is coming for your organs with new law

Have you considered being an organ donor? Soon, you might not have to.

Alberta has introduced a private member’s bill that, if signed into law, would presume every adult in the province an organ donor unless they refuse. That means automatic consent for your organs to help save lives when you die. It is based on the notion that the majority of people support organ donation but have not filled out the necessary paperwork.

In April, Nova Scotia became the first jurisdiction in North America to pass such legislation.

The issue is gaining steam nationwide. Currently, residents in all provinces and territories with the exception of Nova Scotia must opt-in to donate their body parts after death. It’s a bureaucratic hurdle that costs lives.

“A 90 per cent majority of Canadians support organ and tissue donation, but less than 20 per cent have made plans to donate,” said UCP MLA Matt Jones. “It just seems that the opt-in system is not as suited to Canadians as an opt-out system.”

True. Contributing to the greater good with no effort at all is very suitable.

According to Alberta Health Services, there were 464 Albertans on the organ and tissue waiting list at the end of 2018. Last year, 23 people died while waiting for an organ transplant in Alberta.

Twenty-four European currently have presumed consent laws. In many, the opt-out rate is less than 2%.

Christian Nathler

Christian Nathler is a contributing writer at Notable Life.