Petition aimed at making organ donations mandatory

Two young Quebecers suffering from cystic fibrosis and waiting for lung transplants have launched a petition on the National Assembly's web site aimed at making it easier for Quebecers to donate their organs.

The petition spearheaded by 24-year-old Alexandra Beaudry and 28-year-old Richard Leboeuf-McGregor's is calling for a change in the rules for consenting to organ donation. They want consent for organ donation to essentially be automatic — unless the would-be donor objects.

Beaudry and Leboeuf-McGregor are effectively calling for the current system to be turned on its head — as things are now, it's assumed that someone will not donate their organs unless they indicate they do want to be a donor.

The petition, launched in January, has received just over 6,000 signatures so far. They're hoping to reach 100,000 by April 24.

The text of the petition notes the number of people waiting for an organ donor has gone up dramatically in just the last decade — from 872 in 2004, the 1250 in 2012 — while the number of actual organ donors has remained steady.

"We need more organs," Leboeuf-McGregor says. "There's more people who need transplants, but there are no more people who give."

It also notes that many are on waiting lists for months or years for a life-saving organ donation. The average wait for a lung donor in Quebec, for instance, is just over two years. Patients waiting for a kidney transplant wait three years, on average.

In 2013, a total of 38 Quebecers died while waiting for a transplant.

Leboeuf-MacGregor, who waited a relatively speedy 30 weeks for his transplant, also points out similar systems are in place in a number of European countries, and works well.

"In France, or Spain, and Portugal, that's how it works," he says.

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  1. joeN posted on 03/03/2014 03:07 PM
    Totally absurd idea. My body, my organs, my choice! If donor wants to give their organs that's their choice, by changing it to automatic you are no better than the unscrupoulous marketers with similar approach at selling you stuff you do not want. It should not be up to me to say no, it's up to the donors to ensure they want to donate.
  2. fasdkhffh posted on 03/03/2014 03:39 PM
    Exactly what is a mandatory donation? I believe the correct term is "organ seizure" or "theft".
  3. Dave posted on 03/03/2014 11:36 PM
    Actually I think this is a great idea. For those who commented above, you still have the possibility to opt out of giving your organs. Now, you sign to be an organ donor. In the other case, you sign to not give away your organs at your death. That being said, you just wait until someone in your life needs an organ and will die because they have to wait too long to get it. While you watch you loved one die, at the point exact point, you will run back here and apologize. I guess people are only rational in times of desperation. Sign and give life. After all, your organs are USELESS after you are dead. You'd rather have them rot than save another life... if that is so, we can all understand how selfish you can be.
    1. joeN posted on 03/04/2014 08:19 AM
      @Dave Hey Dave if you want to give your organs that is your choice no one will stop you. I do however have issue with the government thinking that they can harvest my organs because I did not make it specific enough to say I do not agree with giving away my organs. It's up to the donors to make their decsion clear not the other way around. Is it ok for the government to come into your house and take what it wants because you no longer need it when your sick and on your death bed?
  4. Drew posted on 03/04/2014 12:47 AM
    If I have to go to the hospital in a life threatening situation I want to be saved not some Doctor deciding to harvest my organs. It is unfortunate but I want to live as well
  5. Grace posted on 03/04/2014 09:36 AM
    There would still be an issue with the standards revolving around organ donation. My grandmother needed a transplant years ago and she was next on the list. They informed us FIVE TIMES that someone had passed and had the same blood type, but the board that governs which organs can be used said every single one wasn't usable because the people was overweight, so they couldn't use their perfectly functioning liver, didn't even check it, just because the person was fat! Rather than making donating mandatory, maybe they should lower their standards for 'viable' organs so more people could survive.
  6. Joey posted on 03/05/2014 09:45 PM
    I'm an organ donor advocate. I agree that it should not be mandatory. For all you with the point "My body, My organs, My choice", I can respect that. However, what I would like to see is the following, if you are not signed up to be an organ donor, then you should not be eligible to receive an organ should you require one. Make it a case where you sign up for membership and only members are allowed to receive the services of the Gift of Life.
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