Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Better donor program needed

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Thank you for the informative article on the plight of Mary Wasylenko (Classified ad seeks kidney, Feb. 5). My wife is in almost the same circumstance -- 65 years old and on dialysis for eight years. Dialysis can only partially replace normal kidney function; without a transplant, Wasylenko and my wife face ever-disintegrating life systems and a shortened lifespan.

Wasylenko suggests we adopt the opt-out system of deceased organ donation -- already in place in several European countries -- instead of the opt-in system. Manitobans like to help out and signing their donor cards or registering on the Gift of Life website would seem to be one of the easiest ways to help out. For the most part, however, it's not happening.

Despite Manitoba having the second-highest per-capita rate of kidney failure in Canada as well as the rapidly growing number of dialysis patients in Manitoba, kidney transplants have remained stagnant over the last decade.

People continue to die while waiting for organ transplants.

It would be wonderful if, for the sake of Wasylenko and hundreds of others awaiting new organs, the province of Manitoba would take the lead and start up the opt-out implied consent organ donation program.

SAM KLIPPENSTEIN

Powerview-Pine Falls

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 11, 2014 A6

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