Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Organ donation: Opt-in or opt-out

I know that I’ve devoted this blog to nutrition ranting but I have a non-nutrition rant today. At least it’s still ranty, right?

After living in Ontario for nearly two years I moved back to Nova Scotia this year. One of the fun (this is where a sarcasm font would come in handy) aspects of moving between provinces is switching over services such as health cards. In Nova Scotia, organ donation is specified on your health card and this is where I get ranty. I don’t understand why the process is set-up to seemingly discourage organ and tissue donation. A number of countries use an opt-out system whereby it’s pressumed that everyone is a donor unless they specifically indicate a desire to opt-out. These countries often have much higher rates of organ and tissue donation than we do in Canada (1). Even if we don’t switch to an opt-out program we could still make the current system much more conducive to donation.

I received my MSI package in the mail yesterday. Included was a pamphlet about organ and tissue donation. It indicated that if I was interested in donating I should call MSI (again) to obtain a form or I could visit the Legacy of Life website for more information. How many people are going to be inclined to take either of these actions? Fortunately, I revisited the MSI website and found the form there. Why couldn’t the form at least be included with the MSI application in the first place? The current system is completely illogical to me.