The Truth About Organ Donation

Facts about organ donation (source: TGLN)

Today, in Ontario, there are approximately 1,630 people waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant. This is their only treatment option, and every 3 days someone will die because they did not get their transplant in time

One donor can save up to 8 lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of up to 75 more through the gift of tissue.

33% of Ontarians are registered organ donors. That’s 4.2 million out of an eligible 12.5 million.

Since 2003; 17,639 Ontarians have received a lifesaving organ transplant.

Ottawa’s donor registration rate is 41%. This puts the national capital in 118th place out of 170 Ontario communities.

Myths about organ donation

Myth: I’m too old to be an organ donor!

Fact:  Age alone does not disqualify someone from becoming a donor. The oldest organ donor was over 90 and the oldest tissue donor was over 100. There’s always potential to be a donor; it shouldn’t stop you from registering.

Myth: I’m not in good health, nobody will wat my organs!

Fact:  Your current or past medical history does not prevent you from registering to be a donor. Individuals with serious illnesses can, sometimes, be organ and/or tissue donors. Each potential donor is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Myth: I can’t become an organ donor… it’s against my religion!

Fact: All major religions support organ and tissue donation, or respect an individual’s choice. If you are unsure, please double check with your religious leader(s).

Myth: I want an open casket at my funeral, if I donate my organs, my body will be “disfigured”!

Fact: Organ and tissue donation does not impact funeral plans. An open casket funeral is possible.

Myth: If the doctors know I am a registered organ donor, they won’t work as hard to save my life!

Fact: This is a common myth that is 100% false. Healthcare professionals caring for critically ill patients will do everything possible to save lives. The possibility of organ donation is only considered when all lifesaving efforts have failed and survival is clinically impossible (Organ Project, 2017).