This coming Monday, the fall sitting of the Alberta Legislature will begin, and as usual, there will be questions asked and legislation tabled for debate.
This time, however we will be debating and voting on a very important piece of legislation, Bill 207, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Amendment Act.
This important and life-saving legislation will change the way organ donations are managed in Alberta. This bill has the potential to significantly increase the number of organs that are available for transplantation.
It was disappointing to learn that Alberta currently has the lowest organ-donation rate in Canada and it’s something we have a chance to address.
The donation rates are low due to how the programs are currently administered through the donation and hospital systems. Bill 207 will drastically reduce the red tape and hurdles that currently hinder the process of organ transplant.
During the spring sitting of the Legislature, MLA for Grande Prairie-Wapiti, Wayne Drysdale, stood before the house and delivered a member’s statement that told a story of his own personal tragedy involving the loss of his son.
His son, Troy, was removed from life support on July 3, 2001, after suffering brain damage from a dirt bike accident six days earlier.
Wayne explained how the family decision to donate Troy’s organs came without hesitation, despite dealing with one of the most difficult events of their lives. Due to the decision of Wayne and his family, it dramatically changed and altered 28 other lives for the better.
Bill 207 proposes to use an electronic registry to track and compile information that will streamline the system in a way that will see the elimination of some of the hurdles that plague the current system. The information will be collected when an adult applies for the issuance or renewal of an operator’s licence, they will simply be asked whether they consent to the donation of their tissue, organs or body.
This appears to be an efficient way to ensure that potential donors’ wishes are respected and carried out. This bill is definite progress forward from the current system of signing the back of their Alberta health care card, which many people simply forget to do.
On May 15, 2013, MLA Wayne Drysdale stood before the Legislature, not as a member, but as a parent that had suffered an unimaginable loss.
The gravity of his loss was evident when he told the house that “I miss Troy, but I am grateful for the legacy he left behind.” And “I know that our loss was not for nothing.”
The life of Troy Drysdale has significant meaning and it was evident in the ovation Wayne received at the conclusion of his member’s statement that day.
The story of Troy Drysdale’s gifts to others is only one of many reasons that I will be supporting Bill 207, the Human Tissue and Organ Donation Amendment Act.
Until we get this bill passed, please make sure you have signed the back of your health-care card.
— From The Legislature