Frequently Asked Questions About Organ Donation
Why should I donate? Many people in Newfoundland and Labrador are in need of an organ or tissue transplant. Many will die while waiting. Your decision to become an organ donor can change the lives of up to eight people.
What can I do?
You can indicate your “Intent to Donate” organs and tissues by completing your Medical Care Plan (MCP) application or renewal form.
The word “ORGAN DONOR” will appear on your MCP card. This indicates your intent to donate after death. You can learn about becoming a ‘Living Donor’ by contacting your local Kidney Transplant Program. (Eastern, Central and Labrador can contact 709 777-3601 and Western residents can contact 709 637-5000 ext. 6190).
What organs and tissues could be donated?
Organs such as kidneys, heart, lungs, liver pancreas and small bowel can be donated. In some provinces tissues such as corneas, skin, heart valves, bone, veins, cartilage, tendons and ligaments can be donated.
What is the cost to the donor or donor’s family? There is no cost to the donor or donor’s family for organ and tissue donation in Canada. The family is responsible for the costs of funeral arrangements and burial. It is illegal to sell organs in Canada.
When will my family be involved in the final decision?
Although you have indicated your ‘Intent to Donate’ your organs and or tissues, the final decision rests with your next of kin. For organ donation, the next of kin or family member(s) will be contacted by health-care professionals in the intensive care unit. Families are not pressured into making a decision, but are presented with information and options so they can make an informed decision. Timing is critical with organ donation, which is why it is important for people to discuss their wishes with their families. Families may be comforted by providing the gift of life to another person and feel more at ease with their decision if they know your wishes in advance.