Canada: New law would make Albertans organ donors unless they opt out - - PressFrom - Canada
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Canada New law would make Albertans organ donors unless they opt out

10:35  12 november  2019
10:35  12 november  2019 Source:   cbc.ca

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Opt - out organ donation programs have been associated with higher donation rates in some European countries. Albertans currently have to opt -in as an organ donor . Under Bill 205, Alberta would transition to an opt - out program — where adults are presumed organ donors unless they

Anyone can change their organ donation status at any time, according to the bill. There are about 1,100 people waiting for organ donation in the Netherlands, according to In the United States, where would-be donors must opt in or explicitly consent, organ donations have been increasing.

  New law would make Albertans organ donors unless they opt out © ThitareeSarmkasat\Getty

Every adult in Alberta could automatically become an organ and tissue donor if a new private member's bill is passed in the legislature.

The Human Tissue and Organ Donation (Presumed Consent) Amendment Act passed first reading on Wednesday after it was presented by MLA Matthew Jones.

Albertans currently have to opt-in as an organ donor.

Under Bill 205, Alberta would transition to an opt-out program — where adults are presumed organ donors unless they otherwise refuse.

A physician is still expected to confirm the person's wishes with next of kin, who ultimately have the final say.

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The law was narrowly approved by the Dutch Senate on Tuesday in a 38-36 vote. It passed the lower house of Parliament in 2016 by a slim 75-74 margin. The new policy is meant to help fix a shortage in organ donations in the Netherlands, according to its drafter, Pia Dijkstra, a member of the House of

The law was narrowly approved by the Dutch Senate on Tuesday in a 38-36 vote. It passed the lower house of Parliament in 2016 by a slim 75-74 margin. The new policy is meant to help fix a shortage in organ donations in the Netherlands, according to its drafter, Pia Dijkstra, a member of the House of

Several surveys have suggested more than 80 per cent of Canadians are willing to donate their organs.

Jones said Friday only 19 per cent of Albertans are registered donors.

"It just seems that the opt-in system is not as suited to Canadians as an opt-out system," Jones said.

"I would hope that this bill is a catalyst for conversations, education and future changes to our system to enhance organ donation in Alberta."

Nova Scotia became the first North American jurisdiction to pass a presumed consent law in April, joining several European countries, including Spain, Austria and Belgium.

Research suggests presumed consent laws are associated with a 25 per cent increase in donation rates.

Health Minister Tyler Shandro said his office had no part in drafting the bill. UCP members are expected to have a free vote on the bill.

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The law was narrowly approved by the Dutch Senate on Tuesday in a 38-36 vote. It passed the lower house of Parliament in 2016 by a slim 75-74 margin. The new policy is meant to help fix a shortage in organ donations in the Netherlands, according to its drafter, Pia Dijkstra, a member of the House of

Anyone can change their organ donation status at any time, according to the bill. There are about 1,100 people waiting for organ donation in the Netherlands, according to In the United States, where would-be donors must opt in or explicitly consent, organ donations have been increasing.

"Presumed consent is not part of my department's current plans, but I'll respect the views of my colleagues. If the House passes a bill, I'll work to implement it," Shandro said in a statement to CBC News on Thursday.

Opt-out organ donation programs have been associated with higher donation rates in some European countries. Now, a UCP MLA wants Alberta to follow suit.© Provided by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Opt-out organ donation programs have been associated with higher donation rates in some European countries. Now, a UCP MLA wants Alberta to follow suit. Shandro said that while the number of Alberta organ donations have increased in recent years, the province needs to do more to bolster rates.

"It's an important topic and I look forward to the discussion in the House and the public," he said.

'It's the greatest thing'

Memory Fedoruk is one of roughly 650 people on the organ transplant waitlist in Alberta.

She has been on the list since March 2014, living on dialysis until she is cleared for a kidney transplant. She said doctors told her she'd be waiting for four to five years.

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Why I oppose opt - out organ donation despite needing a kidney | ITV News - Продолжительность: 3:16 ITV News 1 651 просмотр.

An opt - out system for organ donation will soon become law after it passed its last hurdle in Parliament. Adults will be presumed to be organ donors unless Campaigners hope the new system will encourage us to make our wishes known before we die, with an online register for those opting out .

An opt-out organ donation program would be life changing for thousands of Albertans, Fedoruk said.

"I think it's the greatest thing, obviously," Fedoruk said. "There's so many people that don't even think about it and of course have not made the effort to say, 'yes I want to be a donor.'"

About half of the people on Alberta's waitlist need a kidney transplant.

The five-year survival rate for a person on dialysis is roughly 44 per cent, according to data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information.

But that number jumps to upwards of 80 per cent for people with a kidney transplant.

Fedoruk expects the legislation will get people talking about organ donation.

"The more people that talk about it, the more people are aware of the options," she said.

Only about one per cent of deaths in Canada result in a potential organ donor.

One organ and tissue donor can save up to eight lives, and improve the quality of life of up to 75 people, according to the Government of Canada.

Spain, an early adopter of presumed consent in 1979, has the highest organ donation rates in the world — roughly 48 donors per million people. Alberta's rate is 19 donors per million.

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Senators in the Netherlands approved a new law Tuesday that makes all Dutch adults potential organ donors unless they opt out . Those who do not respond to the first letter, or to a second letter six weeks later, will be considered organ donors , although they can amend their status at any time.

Anyone can change their organ donation status at any time, according to the bill. There are about 1,100 people waiting for organ donation in the Netherlands, according to In the United States, where would-be donors must opt in or explicitly consent, organ donations have been increasing.

Last year, 23 people died while waiting for an organ transplant in Alberta.

'Not something to rush into'

Shandro said Thursday he is still undecided how he'll vote on the bill.

"It's new in Canada and it's not something to rush into," he said in the emailed statement.

It's essential the government maintains confidence in the organ donation system, while respecting the deeply personal decision families have to make, Shandro said.

"Presumed consent could help increase donations, but it could also raise objections from people who might feel coerced," Shandro said.

It's new in Canada and it's not something to rush into. - Tyler Shandro, Alberta Minister of Health

Manuel Esconto, a local representative of The Kidney Foundation of Canada, said presumed consent could generate an unintended backlash, with people refusing to consent because they perceive the law as an attempt to violate their autonomy.

"[The Kidney Foundation of Canada] certainly supports an opt-out system, but not on it's own," Esconto said. "It has to be part of a bigger comprehensive strategy to improve organ donation and transplant rates."

As part of the bill, there's a two-year implementation delay for the province to transition to an opt-out system, Jones said. He said that time would also be used to increase education, introduce organ donation teams in hospitals and improve the donation registry.

The new bill requires a medical practitioner to refer information about a potential organ donor to a donation organization, or what's called mandatory referral.

It's one of the changes the Kidney Foundation called for, along with real-time audits of the organ donation system to determine how each case is handled.

Under the new bill, presumed consent would not apply to people under 18 years old or who have not lived in Alberta for a year before their death.

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