THUNDER BAY – For the first time ever, Ontarians can now register as organ and tissue donors online through a new website BeADonor.ca. Previously, Ontarians could only register as organ and tissue donors in person at a ServiceOntario Centre, or by downloading, completing and mailing a Gift of Life Consent Form.
By logging onto BeADonor.ca, Ontarians can also confirm their current status as an organ donor. Many Ontarians mistakenly believe that the signed donor card they carry in their wallet means they are registered, and that is not the case, as this card pre-dates Ontario’s registry. While over 80 per cent of Ontarians believe that giving consent to donate in advance of their death is an important thing to do, less than 20 per cent of eligible Ontarians have registered their consent to donate organs and tissue.
By registering consent to donate, an individual’s information is recorded and stored in a secure Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care database so it can be made available to families at the right time, for the purpose of ensuring the patient’s donation decision is known and respected. With evidence of their loved ones’ registered consent, almost all families consent to organ donation.
“It’s important to make the registration process to become a donor as easy as possible, because the need is so great. Here in Thunder Bay there are families who have been touched by the Gift of Life, but there are other families who continue to wait in hope,” stated Bill Mauro, MPP Thunder Bay- Atikokan.
“There is perhaps no greater legacy than becoming an organ donor. I encourage everyone who wants to give the gift of life to take just a few minutes and make sure that their wishes can be honoured, by visiting BeADonor.ca or completing the forms available at Service Ontario,” shared Michael Gravelle, MPP Thunder Bay-Superior North.
“This is a great announcement because there is a shortage of organ and tissue and bone in the province of Ontario – and in fact, across Canada. This will truly enable people to give the Gift of Life and improve the quality of life for recipients. Tissue and bone donation from one deceased donor can improve the quality of life of up to 75 recipients,” added Dr. Bob Thayer, CEO, Lake Superior Centre for Regenerative Medicine.