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Questions and Answers
General FAQs about organ and tissue donation and how the content on this website has been collected.
If you don't find the answer you're looking for, don't hesitate to ask.
Try a “Kitchen Table Talk”.
Children are curious and inquisitive. Asking questions is how they learn. If your child asks about organ donation or transplantation, answer questions as simply and honestly as you can. Take your time to gather information and answer honestly.
Many families find it difficult to talk about organ donation together, but science tells us that young children can participate in these conversations and actually initiate and encourage important family discussions.
In Canada, family members are asked to make the decisions about organ donation at the end-of-life. Knowing how your family member felt and what they wanted can make these painful decisions simpler. Unfortunately, most Canadians have not had this conversation with their families. A family discussion in a safe, comfortable place can be the best way for everyone to share their ideas and wishes and learn together.
So, have the ‘Kitchen Table Talk’ as a family. Together.
Organ donors give the gift of life and health to others. Organ donation can also be a gift to the family left behind after someone has died. Families of organ donors often feel proud of the gift their loved-one gave and comforted by the hope they left behind.
Most religious groups support the concept of organ and tissue donation. They consider donation to be a gift of life from one individual to another. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your own faith’s viewpoint, please contact your religious leader.
If you die in circumstances where you are able to donate, your family will still be asked about organ donation. This is why it is so important to share your choice with your family, whatever you decide – to help make sure your choice is honoured.
Anyone can volunteer to be an organ donor after they die, but in order to actually donate organs, very specific circumstances must occur. The organs have to be perfect matches for the people in need of organs, and families must give permission for donation to happen. This process must happen in a hospital. Because of all this, organ donation is very rare. But the more people who volunteer to be donors, the more likely it can happen. There is no age limit and those with illnesses or long-term conditions can also sign up to be donors. Healthcare professionals decide in each individual case whether a person’s organs or tissues are suitable for donation.
Organ donation is giving a solid organ (like a lung) or tissue (like skin) to help someone who needs a transplant.
Educators and experts in the fields of organ donation and transplant from across Canada and around the world have worked diligently to create the many comprehensive and age-appropriate resources you'll find on this site. The materials found here have been carefully selected and reviewed. There are many cross-curricular links to many subjects and topics of interest including healthy living, social responsibility, science and civics. Though a resource may have been designed in one province or jurisdiction, the facts about organ donation and transplant remain the same. Statistics and patient or donor stories can be adapted to suit your region with help from our team or your regional organ donation organization. There are a variety of resources to suit your needs, whether you have just a few hours or a few weeks to dedicate to this topic.
A doctor who is trying to save someone’s life in hospital has no way of knowing that they are an organ donor. Organ donation is considered only after all life-saving efforts have been used and it is certain that a person will not survive.
Every province has its own registry or method for indicating one's intent to donate organs and tissues. Visit organtissuedonation.ca to access information about how to register a decision about organ and tissue donation where you live.
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