Life From Death= Organ Donation

Originally published at on July 8, 2015

There was a recent article in the Globe and Mail that highlights the need for a very important decision to be made, the decision to be an organ donor and more specifically to this article, bequeathing your body to science.

Bequeathing your body to science helps educate future professionals and is a highly valuable gift.  Once a decision is made,  it needs to be discussed with close family members. The article highlights that ‘it’s critical the donor designate a close relative or executor to fulfill their wishes after death…and the decision should be discussed with immediate family ahead of time “so there are no surprises”.’

Several universities that offer medical training programs, have a ‘Human Body Donation Program to aid in the training of future doctors, dentists and other health professionals.’ University of Toronto accepts approximately 200 cadavers each year which are used to teach students anatomy, dissection and surgery. Dalhousie University holds an annual memorial service to pay respect and give thanks to the memory of those who donated their bodies.

Organ donation on the other hand is used directly and often to save lives. In this case the donor must die in the hospital while on life support. Over 200 Canadians die each year due to organ failure. Research from the Canadian Institute for Health Information in the December 2014 report notes that organ donation provides not only better outcomes for patients but that it is often more cost-effective for the health system.
In 2012 there were 540 deceased organ donors in Canada.  While 85% of Ontarians are in favour of organ donation only one in four have registered their consent.

Consider being an organ donor and/or bequeathing your body to science. Discuss your decision with your family and like all other things important decisions, write it down. For more information contact the

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