Organ donation after death
Organ donation is when an organ (e.g., heart, lungs, kidneys, liver) is removed from a deceased person and transplanted into another person.
Tissue donation after death
Tissue donation is when tissues in the body (e.g., skin, corneas, bone) are removed from a deceased person and transplanted into another person.
Who does deceased donation help?
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 32 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.
Am I eligible?
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.
Raising awareness for organ and tissue donation
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 last full 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.
In 2019 Green Shirt Day (April 7) was created to honour, remember, and recognize all the victims and families of the 2018 fatal crash involving the Humboldt Broncos. Green Shirt Day continues the legacy of Logan Boulet by inspiring Canadians to talk to their families and register as organ donors.
On April 7, 2018, Humboldt Broncos defenceman Logan Boulet succumbed to his injuries. His parents, Bernadine and Toby Boulet offered to donate his organs so that six lives could live on. They did so because Logan told his parents he was registering as an organ donor and that he was inspired by his coach and mentor Ric Suggit. Ric passed on June 27th, 2017 and was also an organ donor and saved 6 lives. What happened following this selfless act is nothing less than miraculous and became known across Canada as the “Logan Boulet Effect”.
The Logan Boulet Effect is leaving a lasting impression on Canadians. Since 2018, hundreds of thousands have taken the important step of talking with their families about their decision about organ and tissue donation, and many are confirming that decision by registering their intent to donate through their provincial organ donor registration system. While in 2018 it was estimated that almost 150,000 Canadians registered in the weeks following the Humboldt crash, The “Logan Boulet Effect” continues to inspire Canadians each year.
Learn more about Green Shirt Day - April 7 Learn more about how to leave well here
Canadian Blood Services' role in OTDT
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.