Letter of Congratulations to Federal Health Minister Allan Rock for the National Transplantation Council to Improve the Rate of Organ Donation

Wednesday, October 20 1999

The Honourable Allan Rock
Minister of Health
Brooke Claxton Building
Postal Locator 0916A
Ottawa, ON
K1A 0K9

Dear Mr. Rock:

Re:  Organ Donation

The Catholic Organization for Life and Family (COLF) would like to commend you and your provincial counterparts for agreeing to establish a national transplantation council to improve the rate of organ donation in this country.

As an organization dedicated to promoting human life and dignity, we strongly support organ donation as a way to give new life and health to others and to stand in solidarity with those who are in need and suffering.

We were pleased to read in the media reports that the new council will include ethicists and members of the public.  While we strongly affirm organ donation in principle, there are many ethical issues that need to be addressed such as the criteria for deciding who receives an organ, defining the moment of death and the necessity of informed consent for donation. The ethics and safety of xenotransplantation require in-depth study.

As an organization concerned with the family, we intend to prepare some popular education materials which will include the importance of discussing this decision with family members before a health crisis. We also hope that the Government will be involved in educating the public on this vital issue.

We look forward to hearing more about the work of the new Council. If you think that there is any way that our organization could contribute, we would be happy to do so.


XMost Reverend Adam Exner, O.M.I.
Archbishop of Vancouver
Chairperson of the Catholic Organization for Life and Family