Organ and tissue donation

Organ and tissue donation improves health and saves lives. You can help those in need.

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Donating organs and tissues in Canada remains safe at this time.

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Donating organs and tissues

Less than 25% of people living in Canada are registered donors, yet more are needed. Donating organs and tissue save and improve lives.

One organ donor can save up to 8 lives. Tissue and eye donors can improve the lives of up to 75 more. Quality of life and life expectancy are often better for people with severe chronic kidney disease if they have a kidney transplant than if they're treated with dialysis.

Depending on where you live, there are different ways to:

Register to become a donor in your province or territory:

Health care providers will ask your family about donation before it happens, so it's important they know your wishes. If you decide to become an organ and tissue donor, tell your family and friends.

If you have questions about how donation affects your religious or spiritual practice, speak with your spiritual leader.

The need for organ and tissue donation

As our population ages, the need for organ and tissue donations keeps increasing. There are more than 2,200 solid organ transplants each year. Despite improvements in the number of organ donations since 2012, the number of people in need of a transplant has also increased. On average, 250 people on the waiting list die while waiting for an organ each year.

While most people living in Canada consent to donate after they die, you can also donate organs while you're still alive. Living donors who are the age of majority and in good health can donate:

Talk to your loved ones about organs and tissue donation, and encourage others to register to save more lives.

What we're doing

In 2018, Health Canada and our partners initiated the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative. It works to improve the number and quality of successful transplants and improve the donation and transplantation system for better patient outcomes.

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