Take the extra minute to save a life

Most people don’t have anything in particular against donating their organs after they die.

We wrote an editorial in recent weeks decrying the huge amount of money Natalie Williams and her family have had to raise so the teen can get the liver transplant she needs to survive.

The generosity of the Cowichan Valley community has humbled us once again, as friends, family and strangers have come through for the 19-year-old with donations that have exceeded the original goal.

Which doesn’t make us feel any better about a user-pay provincial health care system the likes of which most of us assume only plagues our neighbours south of the border, until someone we know needs a life-saving surgery on the Mainland.

It remains a colossal failure of every government of this province, ever, that people needing life-saving transplants must pony up tens of thousands of dollars for aftercare – and must prove they have it in the bank before the system will even consider saving their lives.

But there’s another important subject that Natalie Williams reminds us of.

The fact that we need more Canadians to sign up as organ donors.

Most people don’t have anything in particular against donating their organs after they die. In fact, we bet that if you asked most people face to face they would specifically tell you that they’d like to think they could save a life with whatever parts of their bodies they aren’t using anymore.

And yet, most of those same people are not organ donors.

Williams is lying in a hospital right now, waiting for a compatible liver to become available.

It takes very little to make sure that your organs can help someone else after you die. Considering what a critical subject it is, one would hope that everyone can set aside those few minutes it takes to literally save someone’s — or even several people’s — life.

After all, it’s not more important than checking your email on your smart phone, is it? Or taking a gander at your Facebook page for the 10th time this hour. Or sneaking an extra cookie. Or watching that TV show you’re only half paying attention to anyway.

When you renew your driver’s licence, the chance is placed right into your hands.

So come on, why haven’t you done it yet?