Skip to main content

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week - and the urgent need for more people to be organ donors.

 On Wednesday April 20, I spoke in response to a Ministerial statement about the need to increase the number of people who are willing to be organ donors.   There are people in Manitoba who are suffering, and in some cases dying, because they can not get a kidney or a heart or a lung or a liver quickly enough.   My comments are below. 

National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week


Mr. Gerrard: Madam Speaker, this coming week, the last full week in April, is national organ and tissue  awareness week. Originating in 1997 on an initiative of Dan McTeague, then-Liberal Member of Parliament, this week brings attention to the urgent need for more people to indicate they're willing to be organ and tissue donors.

      The latest information on Transplant Manitoba's website shows that there are more than 200 Manitobans waiting for a kidney transplant alone, not including other types of transplants. The high number is likely due in part to delays and backlogs.

      The story of Matthew Laferriere raised by CBC reporter Lauren Donnelly in December 2021 illustrates the problem. After six years of waiting while on home dialysis, Laferriere was due to get a kidney transplant in 2020. He found a living donor, been cleared for the procedure and only needed the hospital to schedule the operation. But complications since a–as a result of the wait, have meant his health deteriorated to the point he needed a heart transplant first and then the kidney transplant. A simpler pro­cedure became much more complicated because of the delay.

      Ideally, the backlogs and waits for procedures like Matthew Laferriere's should have been managed better, in part through better allocation of resources by the government to the transplant program.

      The lives of people like Matthew Laferriere are on the line every day. It would be far better to move to a situation where there is a presumption of consent to donate an organ and an opt-out for organ donation instead of an opt-in.

      It is a concept now supported by the Manitoba Law Reform Commission. It is a concept supported by Manitoba Liberals in the 2016 election. In March  2017, Judy Klassen, the former MLA for Keewatinook, seconded a bill to achieve this goal. Unfor­tunately, the bill was not then supported by the Conservative Party. I hope that that has changed and that the legislation could now be brought forward suc­cess­fully here in Manitoba.

      Thank you. Merci. Miigwech.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Dougald Lamont speaks at Meth Forum last night to present positive ideas to address the epidemic, while exposing the lack of action by the Pallister Conservatives

Last night at the Notre Dame Recreation Centre in St. Boniface, at an Election Forum on the Meth Crisis in Manitoba, Dougald Lamont spoke eloquently about the severity of the meth epidemic and described the Liberal plan to address it.  The Liberal Plan will make sure that there is a single province-wide phone number for people, or friends of people, who need help dealing with meth to call (as there is in Alberta) and that there will be rapid access to a seamless series of steps - stabilization, detoxification, treatment, extended supportive housing etc so that people with meth addiction can be helped well and effectively and so that they can rebuild their lives.  The Liberal meth plan will be helped by our approach to mental health (putting psychological therapies under medicare), and to poverty (providing better support).  It will also be helped by our vigorous efforts to help young people understand the problems with meth in our education system and to provide alternative positive

Manitoba Liberal accomplishments

  Examples of Manitoba Liberal accomplishments in the last three years Ensured that 2,000 Manitoba fishers were able to earn a living in 2020   (To see the full story click on this link ). Introduced a bill that includes retired teachers on the Pension Investment Board which governs their pension investments. Introduced amendments to ensure school aged children are included in childcare and early childhood education plans moving forward. Called for improvements in the management of the COVID pandemic: ·          We called for attention to personal care homes even before there was a single case in a personal care home. ·            We called for a rapid response team to address outbreaks in personal care homes months before the PCs acted.  ·          We called for a science-based approach to preparing schools to   improve ventilation and humidity long before the PCs acted. Helped hundreds of individuals with issues during the pandemic including those on social assistance

Comparison between Manitoba and South Dakota shows dramatic impact of Physical Distancing

Manitoba implemented physical distancing measures in mid-March.  South Dakota has still not made physical distancing mandatory.   The result is a dramatic difference in the incidence of covid-19 viral infections between the two jurisdictions.   This graph shows the number of people with Covid-19 infections from March 27 to April 14.  Manitoba ( red line )  started leveling off about April 4 and has seen only a small increase in Covid-19 infections since then.   South Dakota ( blue line )   has seen a dramatic increase in Covid-19 infections since April 4.  Those who are skeptical of the impact of physical distancing in Manitoba should look at this graph! Data are from the Johns Hopkins daily tabulations