On 20 September 2018, MPP Anand spoke about “Organ Donations” as part of a Private Members’ Public Business statement. 

I will be sharing my time with the member from Ottawa West–Nepean and the member from Perth–Wellington.

Speaker, in Ontario there are approximately 4,500 people waiting for an organ transplant, and every three days someone dies because they were unable to receive that transplant in time.

As said by my fellow members, at this time only 33% of Ontarians are registered donors, which is approximately 4.1 million out of 12.3 million.

A single donor can save eight lives through their organ donation and 74 more lives through tissue donation.

If you look at the data, since 2003, 17,000 Ontarians have received a life-saving organ transplant.

I’d also like to echo that in Canada’s most populous province, there’s no reason that Ontarians should be dying while they wait for an organ.

In bringing up this conversation, I’d like to highlight the amazing benefits of organ transplants. We can:

—end cornea blindness;

—help burn victims recover;

—remove the need for long-time dialysis;

—cure diabetes;

—prevent amputations;

—repair childhood heart problems;

—assist in heart bypass surgery; and

—correct birth defects.

Through this motion, we’re not trying to find cures; the cures are already there. This motion will help bring proven cures to people who desperately need them.

Look at the data. Spain has the highest organ donation rate, at 36 donors per million. Canada’s rate is merely half that—18 donors per million—and in the lower third of developed countries. Even our neighbour, the United States, is doing better than us, at 26 donors per million.

In the past 10 years, the number of deceased organ donors has gone up by 42%, which is great. However, the number of people needing a transplant has gone up by more than that.

While most Canadians consent to donate after death, it is also possible to donate organs while you’re still alive. Living donors who are the age of majority and in good health can donate a kidney, part of the liver, a lobe of the lung.

By increasing the number of registrants, we can not only save lives, but we will increase the quality of life of people waiting for these organs. Patients receiving organs earlier will have a better recovery, and it will relieve some of the burden on our health system as well.

Speaker, 44% of Ontarians volunteer their time and 83% of Ontarians volunteer their money to charitable and not-for-profit organizations. As Canadians, we have a good heart; we are hard-working, family-loving people. But we all get distracted by life, and when busy, we avoid decisions that are not crucial at that very moment. Signing an organ donation card is a prime example of something that we avoid doing, not because it isn’t the right thing but because we get distracted.

I firmly believe that the province should encourage residents to think through organ donation and encourage a “yes” or “no” answer. We should encourage a decision so that no one needlessly dies waiting for an organ. It will improve the health of Ontarians. Once implemented, we can achieve better health, lower pain and higher productivity, and this will be all achieved without any cost.

With this, I’d like to applaud the member for Northumberland–Peterborough South for introducing this promotion of organ donation and I’m looking forward for everyone to help.