Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux
An organ and tissue donation after death can save the lives of several people and help others recover their health.
The organ and tissue donation process generally takes 24 hours, since many tests and procedures must be carried out to assess the organs and tissues and find compatible recipients.
Organs that may be donated The organs that may be donated for a transplant are the kidneys, heart, lungs, liver, pancreas and intestines.
Tissues that may be donated The main tissues that may be donated are bones, skin, heart valves, veins, tendons and corneas.
Donations for research or teaching purposes A donor’s organ and tissues will be used for scientific research and teaching only if the donor has given specific consent and if the organs and tissues are not suitable for a transplant or graft.
Organ donations in remote regions A potential donor may be in a remote region. With the consent of the family, the person’s body is moved after death to a transplant centre. The hospital pays for the cost of moving the body and then returning it to the family.
Viewing of the body in a funeral home The specialists who remove the organs or tissues from the body ensure that human dignity is respected and that the person’s appearance is not affected. The operation during which organs or tissues are removed is conducted with the same care as any other operation, in an operating theatre, and no outside sign of the operation is visible once the body is dressed. An organ or tissue donation creates no obstacles for a funeral viewing, including an «open casket» presentation.
Anonymity An organ or tissue donation is made anonymously. A recipient who wishes to contact the donor’s family must go through Transplant Québec. Both the donor’s and the recipient’s anonymity will be respected.
Failure to make wishes known to family Sometimes, when a potential donor dies, the medical team is unable to determine his or her wishes regarding an organ or tissue donation, and asks the family to make the decision. If the family members are also unaware of the donor’s wishes, and facing a sad moment in their lives, they may oppose the donation because of a doubt about the donor’s real intentions.
Organization responsible for organ and tissue donations Transplant Québec is the organization given official responsibility by the ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux to coordinate organ donations in Québec.
Héma-Québec is responsible for, among other things, coordinating human tissue donations in Québec.
Anyone can be considered a potential donor. Requirements related to the health insurance card If the donor is under 14 years of age, the donation consent sticker must be signed by his or her parents or tutor. The sticker can be found in the folder entitled Sign for life! and must be affixed to the back of the donor’s health insurance card in the space provided. Requirements related to the Registre des consentements au don d’organes et de tissus of the Chambre des notairesMinors cannot be registered in the Registre des consentements au don d’organes et de tissus of the Chambre des notaires even with the consent of the parents or tutor. However, an organ or tissue donation can still be carried out at the appropriate time with the parents’ consent. Requirements related to the Registre des consentements au don d’organes et de tissus of the Régie de l’assurance maladie du QuébecIf the donor is under 14 years of age, the holder of parental authority or the tutor must also sign the consent form. Requirements related to the Consent to organ and tissue donation online service The Consent to organ and tissue donation online service can be used by
Organ and tissue donations are made freely. No financial compensation should be expected or requested.
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