News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

April 23, 2019

ONLINE REGISTRY PROVIDES ONE STOP FOR MANITOBANS TO INDICATE ORGAN AND TISSUE DONATION WISHES

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Manitobans Encouraged To Sign Up For Life: Friesen

Manitobans are encouraged to have life-saving conversations with their families and to mark their intent to be organ tissue donors using the province’s registry, which is now entirely online, Health, Seniors and Active Living Minister Cameron Friesen announced today.

“For years, Manitobans have signed the donor card attached to their health card and then tucked it away without sharing their important decision with loved ones,” said Friesen.  “Online registration is so simple and this selfless decision has the ability to save lives.  We encourage Manitobans to have open discussions with their families and to record those decisions securely online at www.signupforlife.ca.”

To support Manitobans in making their choice known, the province has simplified the donor registration process by moving it entirely online and eliminating paper donor cards.  Since www.signupforlife.ca launched in 2012, online registration has steadily increased, with a record 11,400 Manitobans signing up on the secure site in 2018.

The move follows the phasing out of paper donor cards in 2016 and is expected to lead to a continued increase in registrations, the minister said.

Families like the Omeniuks know the value of conversations about organ and tissue donation.  Dean Omeniuk is a two-time heart recipient – having received a life-saving transplant in 1996 and again in 2017.

“The generosity of others has given me a second – and a third – chance at life.  Through the gift of donation, I have been able to enjoy watching my children grow over the last two decades,” said Omeniuk.  “I am a grandfather now because not just one, but two families, had a conversation and said yes to organ donation.  I am so grateful for these gifts.”

In Manitoba, organ donation occurs at Health Sciences Centre Winnipeg and St. Boniface Hospital.  However, compassionate end-of-life care and the opportunity for organ donation is every family’s right, no matter where they live, said Dr. Adrian Robertson, medical director, Transplant Manitoba’s Gift of Life program.

“As online registrations increase, our specially trained team offers support and information to families whose loved one has indicated a desire to give the gift of life and who meets the criteria for organ donation,” said Robertson.  “For those patients in hospital outside the city of Winnipeg, our specialists work with care providers and families to determine whether a transfer to Winnipeg-based intensive care is the best approach.”

Supporting the ability of all Manitobans to offer life-saving and life-enhancing gifts to those in need is also a focus for Tissue Bank Manitoba, which supports the vital role of tissue donation in spinal, orthopedic, neuro, sports medicine, plastics, and ear, nose and throat surgeries.

Until this week, tissue donation services were available within the Winnipeg and Interlake-Eastern regional health authorities, said Kimberly Dodds, director of Tissue Bank Manitoba.  Effective tomorrow, the service will be expanded to Southern Health-Santé Sud.

“Each year, thousands of Canadians benefit from the gift of tissue donation,” said Dodds.  “We are so pleased to be able to expand our services to ensure the donation wishes of more Manitobans may be honoured.”

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ATTACHED




Backgrounder
Background Information - https://www.gov.mb.ca/asset_library/en/newslinks/2019/04/BG-Organ_Donation-HL.doc