Organ and Tissue Donation: A personal choice

figuresOrgan and tissue donation is a personal choice. Share your wishes with your family. 

What is organ & tissue donation? 

Organ & tissue donation is a choice that you can make to help others regain their health. Organ donation saves lives by replacing unhealthy organs with healthy ones. Tissue donation helps people live better lives by improving their sight or preventing infections after a severe burn. 

Donated organs and tissues are given to the people who need them most. Race, gender, income or celebrity status do not influence who receives donated organs and tissue. 

Care and respect for your body are an important part of the donation process. Organs are removed during a surgery in the hospital operating room and brought to the person in need. The tissue and eyes are then removed. Open casket funeral arrangements remain an option. 

What types of donations are there? 

The types of organs and tissues that can be donated are: 

• Organs 

Heart, lungs, pancreas, liver, kidneys, and bowels 

• Tissues 

Corneas (a part of the eye), skin, heart valves, bone, and tendons

Who can donate? 

Everyone is eligible, from birth to older adults. Transplant-Québec and Héma-Québec will evaluate each case to decide which organs and tissues are possible to donate. 

Can I still donate if I am ill?

Donation can occur in many different ways and is still possible, even if
you have been diagnosed with a life threatening or long-term illness. 

When should I start thinking about this? 

Talking about one’s eventual death can be difficult, not only for yourself but also for your family. However, it is an important discussion that should take place. It will help you decide how you feel about donation and provide a guideline for the kind of medical treatments you would like if ever you cannot speak for yourself. 

If you are considering donation, there is support and options available to you. 

How can I donate? 

In Quebec, there are 3 ways a person can register their wish to donate:

• a signed sticker on the back of your Medicare card 

• the RAMQ registry 

• through your notary 

No matter what your decision may be, you will always receive appropriate medical care. Talk to your family about whether or not you want to donate. Your choice will always be respected.

Please remember that donation can only occur once you are pronounced dead by the Doctor. 

Where can I find more information?

Organ Donation

You can donate at any age as long as you do not currently have cancer.

Tissue Donation

You can donate if you are 85 years of age or younger. If you have cancer, you can only donate your corneas.

Body Donation for Science

Speak with your Doctor to find out if you are eligible. You can still donate your corneas.

Other Types of Donation

Ask your Doctor about accepted research projects.

For more information:

MUHC Nurse Clinicians for Organ & Tissue Donation
Telephone: 514-934-1934, x-36590 

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