A citizens’ panel appointed by the McGuinty government is supposedly touring the province to gather the public’s opinion on ways to increase organ donations in Ontario. The panel is expected to report back to the legislature this Winter with recommendations. McGuinty announced the initiative last Fall, likely in response to the major headlines generated by Niagara Centre MPP Peter Kormos, who introduced a private members bill months earlier calling on the government to adopt a policy of presumed consent in relation to organ donations. Kormos’ proposal generated so much public debate that the Royal Canadian Air Farce weighed in with a comedy skit featuring the NDP MPP. Click here to see the video (scroll down to ORGAN DONATION).
There is no question that many people needlessly die because of the long waiting lists associated with organ donation transplants. Although a vast majority of the public supports organ donation, only a few of us actually sign organ donation cards. Let’s hope the citizens’ panel recommends changes in the coming months. If not the adoption of a system of presumed consent, at the very least, the province should be more aggressive in beefing up its central organ donation registry by forcing people to make their wishes known when they renew their driver’s licenses or health cards.