Press Releases 2006
November 24, 2006
(Queens’ Park) PC MPP Frank Klees accused the McGuinty government of failing hundreds of Ontarians who are dying while on waiting lists awaiting organ transplants.
"Every week people are dying in this province while on a waiting list for an organ," said Klees. "And now the only commitment we get from the Minister of Health is another study. That is shameful. This announcement is yet one more attempt by the McGuinty government to cover up its failure to act on what is one of the most inhumane waiting lists in this province. Implementation of a simple administrative measure – a mandatory declaration on drivers’ licences – when it was unanimously endorsed by the Legislature more than seven months ago, could be saving lives today.”
Klees, whose Private Member's Bill on organ donation received unanimous support from the legislature following 2nd Reading debate on March 30, 2006, accused the McGuinty government of playing partisan politics with the issue.
"My Bill, supported by all three parties, sits on the Order Paper and this government refuses to deal with it. It's a practical way to increase the number of potential donors, yet the Minister of Health opts for a study rather than action," said Klees.
The Bill proposed by Klees has the endorsement of the medical community and received province-wide support including Ontario's Trillium Gift of Life Network, the agency charged with the responsibility to increase organ donations in Ontario.
The Klees Bill would make it
mandatory for anyone applying for, or renewing, a driver's licence to
make a declaration relating to organ donation. A licence application or
renewal would not be processed unless the organ donation section of the
form was completed.
"People will be required to make one of three elections concerning organ donation. They can respond with a YES, NO or UNDECIDED; but, at the very least, everyone will be given the opportunity to give this important issue serious consideration," said Klees.
Klees, who was Transportation Minister in the former PC government, insists that implementation of his Bill would be a simple administrative process for the Ministry of Transportation and could be implemented with minimal cost while potentially saving hundreds of lives.
Klees does not support the NDP “presumed consent” proposal that would make organ donation mandatory unless individuals make a specific election to "opt out.” He does not believe the majority of Ontarians would accept what essentially amounts to a “negative option.”
Since Klees introduced his organ donation Bill, the legislature has received petitions from across the province with thousands of signatures calling on the government to implement the Bill.
"For the minister of health to do nothing but commission a study on organ donation is shameful," said Klees. "Hundreds of people have died while this Bill sits gathering dust. I welcome any steps that can be taken to advance the cause of organ donation, but this government's refusal to deal with this issue in a non-partisan way is unconscionable.”
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© 2008 Frank Klees, M.P.P. All Rights Reserved