WINNIPEG — A local group is pushing for changes to the way people decide whether to donate their organs after death.
Manitobans for Presumed Consent would like to see a switch from people having to sign up as organ donors to instead being “presumed to be” donors unless people specifically opt out.
Currently in Manitoba, if you agree to be an organ donor you must sign an organ donor card or register online.
Manitoba has the lowest donation rate in Canada, according to the group. It says only one per cent of people in the province have signed the online registry.
On top of that, only 10 per cent of Manitobans who are medically cleared to donate their organs or tissues at the time of death, actually do.
One person dies while waiting for a transplant every 36 hours, according to Transplant Manitoba. The organization said you’re six times more likely to need an organ than to actually be an organ donor.
“Manitobans should not be dying because of a legislative formality,” said Bryan Dyck, a spokesperson for Manitobans for Presumed Consent. “We need to create a system that not only saves lives but reflects the wishes of Manitobans.”
Allexis Siebrecht, 11, had a life-saving liver transplant June 1, 2015.
WATCH MORE: Allexis Siebrecht recovering after life-saving surgery
“They truly have given her the opportunity to live a much long and healthier life,” said her mom Liz Siebrecht. “We are very grateful for the outpouring of support, financially, and prayers. We’re just truly grateful to have a community to support us.”
Siebrecht travelled from her home in Winnipeg to Toronto for the surgery and nearly $30,000 was raised through an online GoFundMe page to help with the cost of transportation and recovery.
According to the group pushing for the change, presumed consent legislation has been shown to increase organ and tissue donation rates by 25 – 30 per cent.