Sunday, June 11, 2006

Organ Donations

In British Columbia if you wish to donate your organs at death, you may register with the British Columbia Transplant Society, which is an agency of the Provincial Health Services Society. You can register online here, or you may obtain registration forms from any of the following:

Driver Service Centers (Motor Vehicle Branch)
All London Drugs locations.
ICBC Autoplan Brokers.
ICBC Claim Centres.
Doctors' offices in B.C.
BC Pharmacy Association

and Save On Food Pharmacies

VanCity Credit Union

You can also decide which organs you are willing to donate. You need your B.C. Care Card number to register. This system allows health care providers to search online to determine immediately at someone’s death if the deceased has consented to donate any of his or her organs.

According to the British Columbia Transplant Society website,

In order to become an organ donor, a patient must meet strict criteria and be declared brain dead. Brain death can occur as the result of a severe head injury or a brain hemorrhage. All attempts are made to save the patient's life. If brain death occurs, it is not reversible. Tests to determine brain death are conducted by two doctors who are not connected with the organ donation or transplantation process. The potential donor's organs are artificially maintained on a ventilator until the organs can be transplanted.

Why register?

Surveys indicate that almost 85% of British Columbians support organ donation, yet only 15% have registered their decision on BC's Organ Donor Registry. The Registry allows individuals to make an informed decision about organ donation and removes the burden and onus of making a difficult decision at an already difficult time, from a grieving family.

Organ transplantation can literally be the difference between life and death for some patients. For others it represents a total transformation in their quality of life. For a kidney transplant recipient, it means freedom from kidney dialysis treatment - a treatment that is required 3 days a week for 4-hour sessions.

You can no longer indicate your consent on your B.C. driver's license.

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