To Be a Donor, Or Not?

There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heaven:
a time to be born and a time to die
(Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

As we plan for our death, there are many things to think about. Have I updated my will and power of attorney? Have I taken care of all my financial obligations to my family and to my business? Have I thought about my charity and is my estate plan tax efficient? Along with these, another planning opportunity to consider is organ donation.

Why would I want to be an organ donor at death?

According to the BC Transplant Society you are more likely to need a transplant in your lifetime than you are to be an organ donor. If this is the case, then the following questions arise. “If I needed an organ transplant, where would the organ come from? Also, if there is less than a 1% chance that I will qualify to be an acceptable donor, who will fulfill this shortage?”

Since there is a serious shortage facing us, let me clarify some questions around organ donation. Firstly, qualifying as a donor is not an easy process: you have to be on life support with no chance of survival as determined by two ICU doctors. The BC Transplant Agency is then contacted due to confidentiality to see if you are registered as a donor and if there is a suitable recipient. Your family is shown the donor paperwork to put them at ease. Secondly, the donor is treated with the utmost respect during the surgical recovery of the organs. The donor is then released to the families so that funeral arrangements can be carried out. Most religions support and encourage organ donation as an act of “Life Saving”.

Being an organ donor can be one of the greatest gifts that anyone can ever give in their lifetime. What many people don’t realize is that you have to register as an organ donor first. Organ donor decals on care cards are no longer valid and writing it in your will can be time sensitive. You can find detailed information and register online at the BC Transplant society website. Paper forms are also available at ICBC or Autoplan offices and Service BC offices. There are no age limits to being a donor but parents have to sign for children under 19 years of age. Due to Covid restrictions, it is a great time to go online and register to give the ultimate gift that ONLY you can give…the gift of life. God bless you all, stay safe and best wishes for 2021!

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