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No plans to make organ donation by default in B.C.: Dix

Last Updated Apr 4, 2019 at 11:25 pm PDT

(Source: iStock)

B.C.'s health minister says there are no plans to change the province's opt-in organ donation system

Adrian Dix says if there is evidence another approach is more effective he would consider making a change

Nova Scotia is moving to make organ donation by default, and people can opt-out

VICTORIA (NEWS 1130) — As one province moves toward making people organ donors by default when they die, B.C.’s Health minister says there are no plans to change the process here anytime soon.

Nova Scotia would be the first province in Canada to use “presumed consent” around organ donation, meaning people are considered to be organ donors unless they opt out.

But Adrian Dix says B.C. is already leading the country in organ donation with its current opt-in model.

“The leading country in the world — who set the sort of standard — is Spain, and that’s the model we are following. That’s why we’re number one in Canada,” he says.

“We’re going to continue to invest in the education and the work we need to do to increase the level of organ donation, and right now it’s working very well, and we’re going to continue to proceed with that.”

However, Dix says he will be keeping a close eye on Nova Scotia as they move to an opt-out approach.

“I don’t exclude other action, and I am interested in what they are doing in Nova Scotia,” he says. “But we’re not satisfied with being number one in Canada we are going to continue to improve.”

Dix says he is open to considering making a change if it becomes clear another approach is more effective.

Under Nova Scotia’s new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, families will still be consulted about a person’s wishes regarding organ or tissue donation. People under 19 and who can’t consent would be exempt, and only donors if a parent or guardian opts in.

– With files from the Canadian Press and Lauren Boothby