How Do I Become An Organ Donor?

by : News Canada

How Do I Become An Organ Donor?

In some provinces you must register with an Organ Donor Registry, in others you can indicate consent on your Health Card or Driver's License. 

Does my signature on a donor registration card or consent form guarantee that my organs will be used for transplantation?

No, your signature symbolises your willingness to donate. However, except in British Columbia, the ultimate decision rests with your family. Without the consent of your loved ones, doctors will not harvest your organs or tissues. So, it's important to make sure your family is aware of your intention to be an organ donor so that they can support your decision.

Is there an age limit for organ donation?

No, there is no age limit for organ donation. In fact, everyone, regardless of age, should consider being a potential donor. The oldest liver donor on record was 92. Corneas from a 102 year-old woman gave sight to someone else. The quality of the organ rather than its chronological age determines whether it can be transplanted.

Can I designate specific organs for donation?

Yes. In most provinces you have the choice of donating all organs and tissues or only specific ones. Again, it is important that you share the details of your decision with your family.

Can I designate who should receive my organs?

No, not unless you have a close blood relative in immediate need. Normally, your gift of organs and tissues is equally available to all potential recipients. Decisions are made on the basis of suitability and length of time on the list.