Just released statistics show that 2015 was a record year in B.C. for both people donating and receiving organs, and now a new pilot program launched by ICBC will try and keep the trend going.
Starting March 1, ICBC employees at four driver licensing offices in the Lower Mainland will be encouraging customers to register a "yes" or "no" decision about becoming an organ donor in the event of an untimely death.
Currently 50 per cent of British Columbians believe they have already registered a decision on becoming an organ donor when, in fact, only 20 per cent actually have.
"We know that an overwhelming number of our customers support organ donation so we're pleased to get behind this important cause," said ICBC president Mark Blucher.
As of today 508 British Columbians are waiting for an organ according to the BC Transplant website, while over 950,000 people in the province have registered their decision on organ donation.
2015 was a record year for deceased organ donation, while an all-time high of 422 patients received a lifesaving organ transplant, including:
- 271 kidney transplants (161 of which were from deceased donors)
- 79 liver transplants
- 35 lung transplants
Although an unregistered person can still become an organ donor if their family agrees, the registry is an important tool to communicate the wishes of an individual.
People can register their organ donation decision, or check to see if they're registered online at BC Transplant or by calling 1-800-663-6189.
The pilot program will run for three months at ICBC offices in North Vancouver, Abbotsford, Kelowna and in Royal Centre in downtown Vancouver.