Donating Organs: How It Works

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Since May 2012, a new option on Facebook lets users publicly announce that they are organ donors. On the first day this new option took effect, 13,054 people in the United States signed up to donate compared to a daily average of 616 before that.

If you saw your Facebook contacts signing up, would you also think about agreeing t0 donate an organ? But do you know how to do commit to being a donor?

Consenting to Organ and Tissue Donation 

Everyone can donate organs after death. You just have to consent, which means give your agreement. This consent can be in writing, or verbally in front of two people. For children under the age of 14, the child's parents or tutors must also consent.  

In Quebec, there are three ways to make this consent known:

1. By signing up for the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus of the Régie de l'assurance maladie du Québec (RAMQ).

To sign up for the register, you just need to sign the form Consent to Organ and Tissue Donation sent to you in the mail at the same time as the notice of renewal of your medicare card. You can also get the form by calling the RAMQ.

2. By signing the organ donation sticker and putting it on the back of your medicare card.

This sticker is sent to you at the same time as your new medicare card when you renew that card. Many health care facilities also have the sticker.

3. By registering your consent in the Registre des consentements au don d'organes et de tissus of the Chambre des notaires du Québec.

If you happen to be making a will or mandate in anticipation of incapacity, this can be an occasion to have your consent registered by a notary.  

Important! When a patient is clinically dead on arrival in an emergency room, a doctor can remove organs with the consent of a relative of the patient, even if the patient's wishes are not known. If it impossible to contact the relatives to get consent, the organs can be removed if two doctors must certify that it was impossible to get it on time, that it was urgent to act, and that the organs could really save or improve someone's life.