Donor FAQ


Even though public opinion data shows that 90 per cent of Canadians approve of organ and tissue donation, only 23 per cent say they have registered their decision to become an organ and tissue donor. Today, misconceptions and inaccuracies for organ and tissue donation continue to exist. With ongoing investment, support and collaboration across the country, a world-class organ and tissue donation and transplantation system in Canada is possible.

Here are some frequently asked questions

Q

If I am registered, will doctors still try to save my life?

A

Yes, organ and tissue donation is considered only after all life-saving efforts have failed and it is certain you will not survive.

Q

Can I be a donor if I am older or have a medical condition?

A

Anyone can be a potential donor regardless of age, medical condition or sexual orientation. Even individuals with serious illnesses may sometimes be donors. All potential donors are evaluated on an individual, medical, case-by-case basis. The oldest Canadian organ donor was 92 and the oldest tissue donor was 104. Don’t rule yourself out.

Q

Does my religion allow me to be an organ and tissue donor?

A

Most religions support organ and tissue donation as an act of life saving. If you are unsure, talk to your spiritual advisor.

Q

If I'm not suitable as an organ donor can I still donate my tissue?

A

Tissue donation is possible for nearly everyone, even when organ donation is not possible.

Q

If I am not able to donate blood, can I become an organ and tissue donor?

A

Individuals who are not eligible to donate blood may still be considered for organ or tissue donation.

Q

Can I be a living donor?

A

Living donation may be possible following a thorough assessment process. Living donation options include donation of a kidney, part of the liver or part of a lung.

Q

Should Canada have an opt-out or presumed consent system where everyone is considered a donor unless they register their objection or ‘opt-out’?

A

In Canada, the work of building a high-performing donation system is still evolving. The organ donation and transplantation network continues to focus on improving donation and transplantation rates in Canada by implementing the foundational system elements needed to ensure and support identification and referral of potential donors, and management of the clinical donation process in the hospital setting. Research indicates that strategies such as donation specialists, education and training for intensive care professionals, implementation of national clinical guidelines and leading practice, and public education have a greater impact on increasing donor rates than consent models. The donation community is working on implementing these foundational system elements, and without them in place, changing consent legislation alone will not bring about the desired level of increase in donation.

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