Daily Archives: February 14, 2012

Have a Heart. Then Give It Away.

I know this blog usually spreads good news. And I apologize in advance if that’s what you’re counting on. I don’t mean to bum you out on Valentine’s Day, of all days, when every moment should be filled with candy and sticky kisses and almost unbearable sweetness.

But today’s story is bad news. Specifically, it’s a new report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) about organ donation – or, rather, organ non-donation. CIHI says that the number of organs donated over the past five years has not gone up, while the need for the organs has been rising. End result? A wider gap between the haves and the have-nots.

Organ donation is a supreme act of generosity. It can happen if you’re living or dead – depending on the organ, of course. There are some you really can’t manage without. Others, you won’t really miss.

Organ donation saves buckets of money in health care, and makes life a heck of a lot more pleasant for the person who gets the new kidney or liver lobe. Yet thousands of Canadians are waiting every year, and some don’t survive.

What can you do? Sign your organ donor card, or, depending where you live, join an online registry. Have a body parts pow-wow: Tell your next of kin what you want done with your vitals after you no longer need them. Spread the word.

Then kiss a loved one. Because it is, after all, still Valentine’s Day.

Dozens of Canadians are waiting for a heart transplant they may never get. Won’t you be their valentine?