Deceased donation is the process of giving one's organs or tissue at the time of the donor's death for the purpose of transplantation to another person. A single organ donor has the potential to provide as many as eight organs for transplant.
There are approximately 4,400 Canadians waiting for a lifesaving organ or tissue transplant. Not everyone in need of a vital organ receives a transplant.
In fact, on average, 250 Canadians die each year waiting. Public opinion data shows that 90 per cent of Canadians approve of organ and tissue donation yet, only 23 per cent say they have registered their decision to become an organ and tissue donor. With continued investment, support and collaboration across the country, a world-class organ and tissue donation and transplantation system in Canada is possible.
We encourage all Canadians to register their decision to become organ and tissue donors and share their decision with their family and loved ones. Spread awareness for organ and tissue donation in your community and join forces with health-care providers, government officials and Canadian Blood Services to work towards a day when no one in Canada dies while waiting for a transplant.
How can I register to become an organ and tissue donor?
Every province has its own registry or method for indicating one's intent to donate organs and tissues. In cooperation with Canada's organ and tissue donation community we have built a portal to help Canadians navigate to their province's online registry or to access information about how to become a donor. In addition to registering or indicating your intent, don't forget to tell your family about your organ and tissue donation wishes.
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.
On Feb. 4, 1997 National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week (NOTDAW) was enacted through Bill C-202. This bill was brought forward by former Liberal Member of Parliament Dan McTeague. The third week of April was chosen to mark the occasion and to commemorate the death of Stuart Herriott, a toddler killed in a motor vehicle incident in McTeague’s riding of Pickering-Scarborough East. Parents of two-and-a-half-year-old Stuart donated his organs and in turn, helped to save and improve the lives of four others. The intent of the Bill was to encourage education and awareness for organ donation and allow Parliament to take a leadership role in addressing the scarcity of organs as well as keep those who die every year waiting for a transplant in our thoughts.
Canadian Blood Services works with the Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (OTDT) community to improve national system performance. We do this through the development of leading practices, professional education, public awareness and data analysis and reporting. We also manage clinical programs that support inter-provincial sharing of organs.
This site provides valuable information and data related to clinical programs and services that support interprovincial sharing of organs, professional education resources including the Canadian Clinical Guide to Organ Donation, numerous reports, leading practices and clinical guidelines relevant to deceased donation, living donation, transplantation and tissues.
Canadian Blood Services works with the Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation (OTDT) community across the country to facilitate inter-provincial organ sharing and to improve national system performance through the development of leading practices, professional education, public awareness and data analysis and reporting.
The results reflected in these reports represent the individual and collective work of the provincial and territorial partners, organ donation programs, and transplant programs as well as the national efforts led by Canadian Blood Services.