National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week - April 21-27, 2019

Statement

Tragically, hundreds of Canadians die every year waiting for an organ transplant. Even more tragic is the fact that these deaths are preventable. While many of you have shown your support for organ and tissue donation this past Green Shirt Day, only 1 in 5 Canadians has registered their decision. This National Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Week we need to change that.

Registering to become a donor is one of the easiest and quickest decisions you can make to save or improve a life. Anyone can be a donor, regardless of age or medical history. Each donation can save up to eight lives and help improve the quality of life for 75 other individuals, while benefiting countless families and loves ones. By giving a kidney, part of the liver or part of a lung, you can also be a living donor.

If you choose to become a donor, make your wishes known to your loved ones, as they will always be asked before a donation takes place. It’s important to discuss their wishes as well. Don’t forget to tell your story on social media to encourage others to become donors. The digital toolkit (PDF: 11.64 MB, 15 pages) developed by Canadian Blood Services is a great place to start. You can learn more about organ and tissue donation by visiting our webpage, which explains, depending on where you live, how to register and decide what you want to donate.  

To ensure that a donor profile is matched with a potential recipient in a timely and effective manner, our Government has committed to the creation of a pan-Canadian data and performance system for organ donation and transplantation in Budget 2019. The new system, which will be developed in collaboration with provincial and territorial partners, will lead to a more coordinated and effective approach to organ donation and transplantation, which means you will make a difference in someone’s life sooner.

Please consider becoming a donor; it’s easy, simple and quite literally changes lives.

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Health

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