Nothing more precious than gift of life (Guest commentary)

Long waits for organ transplants cost employers
By Emile Therien
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/16/2009

Canada has one of the worst organ donation rates in the Western world. Its rate of 13 donors per one million people lags behind the United States, with a rate of 20 per million.

About 4,000 Canadians are currently waiting for transplants, 70 per cent of whom need a kidney. In 2005, 283 patients in Canada died while waiting. On average someone dies every three days in Ontario while awaiting a transplant and more than 1,700 patients are on organ-transplant waiting lists. Between 1994 and 2004, the number of Ontarians on waiting lists for organ transplants doubled while over the same period transplantation increased by only 17 per cent.

The low organ donation rate is often attributed to four factors: