Albertans asked to become organ donors when they renew driver’s licence

ABOVE: Kendra Slugoski explains the new way to become and organ and tissue donor.

EDMONTON – Alberta has taken another step to make it easier for people to become organ and tissue donors.

People will now be asked if they wish to become a potentially life-saving donor whenever they renew their driver’s licence.

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The government says about half the province’s registry offices will be part of the driver’s licence program by the end of the month, with the other half to follow before April.

Alberta has one of the lowest organ donation rates in Canada, and about 75 people die each year waiting for a transplant.

To improve on those numbers the government rolled out an online organ and tissue donation registry in April.

Alberta Health Minister Fred Horne says the government continues to work to establish a provincial agency to co-ordinate organ and tissue donations.

“Becoming an organ and tissue donor is one of the greatest gifts you can give,” Horne said Monday in a release.

“Every individual who consents to donate may save up to eight lives and improve the quality of life for up to 75 more.”

The government says since the online registry was launched in the spring, more than 4,100 Albertans have registered their consent to become donors.

Their information is saved in a computer database that can be quickly consulted by health professionals.

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