The Trillium Gift of Life Network – the agency responsible for organ donation in Ontario – reports that a growing number of families are blocking organ donations of one in five Ontarians who registered before they passed.
The number of families who refused to honour their kin’s request has climbed from 14.5% of families in 2013 to 21.1% in 2015.
The latter percentage represents 62 donors, which at first glance appears to be very low. However, one donor can save eight lives. Therefore, 62 would-be donors translates into assistance for 1,524 people in need.
Anyone 16 or older can register via ServiceOntario to consent to donate their organs upon their death.
But ultimately the decision to donate is left up to the family of the deceased. Trillium’s practice is to ask relatives if the decision to donate is one that their kin might have changed their mind on. If the donation goes against the wishes of the family, organs will not be “harvested.”