Two volunteers wearing green shirts in honour of Logan Boulet. The 21-year-old hockey player died during the Humboldt Broncos bus crash almost exactly a year ago. Before his death, Boulet had registered as an organ donor. More than 100,000 Canadians have since followed his example. (Wolf Depner/News Staff).

Provincial transplant agency lead asks British Columbians to follow example of Broncos’ player

Leanne Appleton defends B.C.’s opt-in system for organ donations

The executive director of the provincial agency in charge of transplants said her office will assess Nova Scotia’s move to make all adults in the province potential organ donors unless they opt out, but British Columbia has no immediate plans to change the system.

“We have a robust system,” said Leanne Appleton, provincial executive director at BC Transplant and Specialized Chronic Diseases at Provincial Health Services Authority (PHSA).

She made this comment Monday morning, as she joined local MLA and minister of agriculture Lana Popham and Jinny Sim, minister of citizens’ services, at the Service BC Centre in the 700 block of Vernon Road for Greenshirt Day, a campaign designed to increase organ donations.

RELATED: Organ donation saved record 502 lives last year in B.C.

The event drew attention to the Logan Boulet Effect. Its namesake 21-year-old Logan Boulet was among the 16 hockey players, coaches, and other staff, who died when a semi-trailer driven by Jaskirat Singh Sidhu collided with the bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League. Boulet, a player for the junior team, died on April 7, 2018, one day after the actual collision. Boulet had earlier registered himself as an organ donor in following his coach and mentor Ric Suggitt. Boulet’s decision saved six lives. According to BC Transplant, more than 100,000 Canadians registered to become organ donors in the weeks after the crash.

Appleton referenced Boulet and encouraged others to follow his examples by registering themselves as organ donors.

“The Logan Boulet Effect is real and truly spurring British Columbians and Canadians on to take action,” she said. “I know it has bolstered the effort of each and every one of you here on the frontlines of Service BC. Each conversation you have can ultimately save lives.”

About 27 per cent of British Columbians (1.35 million) have registered themselves as organ donors and donations saved 502 lives last year.

Appleton said later she would like to see provincial numbers rise as high as possible, calling 50 per cent a realistic goal.

RELATED: VIDEO: Green Shirt Day to honour Humboldt Broncos organ donor

British Columbia uses an opt-in system rather than an opt-out system, which the literature also describes as a presumed consent model. It considers every person a potential organ donor unless said person has explicitly opted out of being a donor.

Several European countries have adopted some version of this model and Nova Scotia just last week became the first North American jurisdiction to introduce presumed consent with the proviso that the legislation won’t come into effect for several months, even years.

Nova Scotia has earned praise for this move with supporters noting that many countries with high donation rates use presumed consent, but also criticism from civil libertarians, who see it as a violation of personal choice.

Appleton said several years may pass until officials elsewhere will have a better understanding of the legislation’s effects (assuming it passes and withstands legal challenges).

British Columbia, she said, will focus on raising registration rates and in-hospital support.

“Research suggests that other strategies such as in-hospital donation coordinators, education and training for medical professionals, and public education are more effective at increasing donor rates than presumed consent legislation,” the agency noted in a brief commenting on presumed-consent legislation. “BC Transplant has implemented these strategies and is seeing great success.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

wolfgang.depner@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Man who killed Langford teen attended her memorial service, demonstrates little remorse

Parole Board of Canada documents reveal factors in parole decision

Relative of man found dead in Saanich says he was missing for years

RCMP and a private detective had been searching for him since 2012

UPDATED: Oak Bay father takes stand, denies killing young daughters

Andrew Berry has plead not guilty to the December 2017 deaths of his two daughters

Oak Bay’s Food Forum closes after 37 years

Open on Christmas Day, the Estevan Village grocery had lovable quirks

Saanich Police warn of counterfeit money being used

Several fake $100 bills have been reported in Greater Victoria

VIDEO: Title of 25th Bond movie is ‘No Time to Die’

The film is set to be released in April 2020

POLL: Should there be a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers?

We’ve all heard them, and most likely cursed them under our breath.… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of Aug. 23

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

New study suggests autism overdiagnosed: Canadian expert

Laurent Mottron: ‘Autistic people we test now are less and less different than typical people’

Trans Mountain gives contractors 30 days to get workers, supplies ready for pipeline

Crown corporation believes the expansion project could be in service by mid-2022

Rosemount cooked diced chicken linked to listeria case in B.C.

The symptoms of listeria include vomiting, nausea, fever, muscle aches

B.C. seniors allowed more choice to stay in assisted living

Province doesn’t need to wait for a complaint to investigate care, Adrian Dix says

Retired B.C. fisherman wins record $60M Lotto Max jackpot

Joseph Katalinic won the biggest Lotto Max prize ever awarded

Island manslaughter suspect found not guilty in Supreme Court

Court accepts accused’s argument of self-defence for 2017 incident in Courtenay

Most Read