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Mobina Jaffer

The Hon. Mobina S.B. Jaffer, Q.C., LL.B. Senator Mobina Jaffer, named one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women in 2005, was appointed to the Senate by the Rt. Honourable Jean Chrétien in 2001. She represents the province of British Columbia.

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National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week

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Statement made on 23 April 2009 by Senator Catherine Callbeck

Hon. Catherine S. Callbeck:

Honourable senators, the need for tissue and organs is greater than ever. As I speak now during National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, approximately 4,300 Canadians are waiting for an organ donation. However, need is far greater than supply. More than 200 people died last year while waiting for a transplant that never came.

Anyone can be an organ and tissue donor. A single donor can help up to 80 people with his or her heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, skin, bone, tendons, eyes and more. Sadly, not enough Canadians are signing up for this life-saving option.

With great advances in medical technology, organ and tissue transplants work better than ever. For example, the three-year survival rate for lung transplant recipients has increased from 60 per cent in 1997 to 80 per cent in 2003. With surgical innovation and improvement in drugs, numbers like those are getting better all the time. However, if there are no organs available, that success rate is obviously zero.

It is easy to become a potential organ donor. Depending on the rules of the province, you can simply sign an organ donor card or have your desire to donate indicated on your health card or driver's licence, but you must discuss your wishes with your family. In most parts of the country, doctors will not proceed with organ donation without the family's consent or if the family has not been informed of your decision.

The death of a family member is a sad event, but something good can come of this loss. A heart keeps a person alive. A kidney can free someone from painful dialysis. Corneas restore sight. Bone can stop the need for amputation. Skin donation can protect burn victims from infection. Organ and tissue donations save lives, restore health and give hope to individuals who are suffering.

Honourable senators, I encourage everyone to take the necessary steps to be an organ and tissue donor. Speak frankly with your families about that decision.

I would also like to thank all those Canadians who have already made such arrangements. Their compassion, goodwill and remarkable generosity will offer hope to the thousands of fellow Canadians who are awaiting a transplant.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

Business of the Senate

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I'm rising to speak on behalf of my leader, the Leader of the Opposition, Senator Cowan, who had to be in Halifax tonight on public business. I must tell you that when I called him to say we were going to be adjourning for the summer tonight, he was, I could tell, quite irritated, not because he wanted us all to go on working like galley slaves but because he had already written a speech that he wanted to give tomorrow morning.

Lighthouses as Irreplaceable Symbols of Maritime Heritage—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Thank you, Your Honour, and my apologies to Senator Champagne.

Unequal Access to Justice—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Joan Fraser | Colleagues, I know that Senator Jaffer was preparing to close this debate but, before she did that, I just had to say how terribly important the subject she has raised is.

The Senate—Promoting and Defending Causes that Concern the Public Interest—Inquiry

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Jim Munson | Honourable senators, I am looking for a bit of love and empathy at this late hour because I do have a speech, but you have to understand that, in the interest of having dignified departures for our five senators this week, I gave up my time to make sure that we were able to celebrate the departures of Senator Buth, Senator Segal, Senator Callbeck, Senator Dallaire and Senator Champagne.

Study on Status of Canada's International Security and Defence Relations

19 Jun, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchell | So, you thought you weren't going to hear from me? Well, I fooled you! So there! I rise in support of this report by the Defence Committee recommending that Canada become involved in ballistic missile defence with NORAD. I congratulate Senator Lang and other members of the committee for what I think was great collaborative work, completely non-partisan, very extensive and detailed with intense research.
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