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Canada Specific Healthcare Question 8
What are your views on the current organ donation policy in Canada?
Canada currently adopts an ‘opt-in’ organ donation system with the exception of Nova Scotia which has recently adopted an ‘opt-out’ organ donation policy, also known as ‘presumed consent’; this involves residents over the age of 19 years being considered donors, unless they choose to exempt themselves from this scheme. I believe that the latter is an effective stance to take on organ donation. I do understand that there are potential issues with such a scheme; for example, individuals who are unaware of the policy may be donors without realising or being aware that they have automatically consented, such as in more deprived areas where there is less education about healthcare policies.
However, I feel that such a risk is low, especially as Canada is a developed country with appropriate access to education and healthcare. Therefore, I believe that this policy is an effective one, and could have an array of benefits for individuals suffering with chronic or severe health conditions. For example, in Canada kidneys are the most commonly transplanted organ, aiding patients with chronic renal failure, a co-morbidity of many health disorders that has the potential to be extremely fatal to patients. Thus, implementing the ‘opt-out’ organ donation policy has the potential to save many lives, through the provision of a high number of organs that otherwise may not be available.