Bill merits passage

If NDP MPP Peter Kormos has his way, hospitals in Ontario soon could be harvesting organs from deceased people before moving their bodies down to the morgue and then on to funeral homes.
A private member’s bill Mr. Kormos is planning to re-introduce at Queen’s Park would, in effect, change organ donation from the current system of explicit consent (i.e., by signing your organ donor card) to one where consent is implied or presumed.
In other words, your organs could be harvested unless you explicitly tell the province you don’t want that to happen.
Visions of doctors mass-harvesting suitable organs may be too much for Ontarians to bear—reminiscent of a scene from a sci-fi or horror flick. Equally disturbing, though, is the fact that so many organs are left to literally rot in the ground while thousands of people await life-saving transplants.
The impetus behind Mr. Kormos’ proposed bill is the abysmally low transplant rate in Canada, which indicates the message about the importance of signing your organ donor card—like local liver transplant recipient Patti Jo Reid tried to implore at last month’s “Community Chest” dinner here—just isn’t getting through.
By contrast, the transplant rate is considerably higher in the more than 20 European countries that have made the change to implied consent for organ donation.
There’s no question Mr. Kormos’ bill deals with a touchy subject, but it does merit passage if it means more lives can be saved. At the very least, the debate hopefully will convince more Ontarians to sign their organ donor card so such a measure doesn’t have to be taken.