Friday, May 12, 2006

Planning a Funeral & Organ & Tissue Donation

Reverend Dr. Robert Matton, minister of Binbrook, Ontario United Church had seen or been made aware of many needless problems and complications involving funeral arrangements, family conflicts, inheritance issues, financial and tax matters and organ donation that could have been avoided by proper planning and the use of professional advice. So he organized a public meeting on Planning a Funeral at the church Thursday evening, May 11th. Notice that Rev. Matton is proudly displaying his green wrist band as he congratulates me on my "Gift" of a lung transplant".

Rev. Matton put a lot of thought into this event and I was very pleased to be part of it. Here's the list of speakers he was able to assemble for the evening's agenda:

  • Funeral Arrangements: Tom Busch, Donald V. Brown Funeral Home, Stoney Creek, ON

  • Legal Questions: Ralph Benedict, Benedict and Ferguson, Caledonia, ON

  • Money Matters: Catherine Nichollas & Laura Staniulescu, TD Canada Trust, Elfrida, ON

  • Organ Donation: Merv Sheppard, Trillium Gift of Life Network

I learned a lot from listening to the other speakers and came away with much food for thought. For example, at the very least, we all should have a Will and Power of Attorney drawn up by a legal professional expert in these areas, because there are so many inheritance, tax, and financial implications that using a do-it-yourself kit can miss or not provide for.

It was heartwarming to see that Rev. Matton was so pro organ and tissue donation. He strongly supported giving "The Gift of Life" in his opening and closing remarks and also read a letter from Trillium Gift of Life Network to a donor family from his congregation.

In general the audience was very receptive to organ and tissue donation and most took Organ Donor Cards and green ribbons home with them.

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