Area of Law: Health Law
Answer Number: 698
Organ donationRegion: Ontario Answer Number: 698
How to donate your organs – register your consent to donate
In the past, drivers in Ontario had the option of consenting to organ donation when they received their license, by filling out and signing an organ donation card. However, signing an organ donation card does not guarantee that your organs will be donated upon your death. You need to register your consent to donate with the Government of Ontario, even if you signed a donor card, because information on a signed donor card is not recorded in the same way and may not be available when needed.
To register your consent to donate your organs and/or tissue upon your death, you need to be at least 16 years old, and must provide your name, date of birth, address, and your Ontario health card number and version code (if applicable).
Register online on the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website at health.gov.on.ca. You can also print and complete a Gift of Life consent form available on the Ministry website and submit it either by mail or in person to any ServiceOntario centre.
Other ways to register your consent to donate
In addition, there are a number of other ways you can register your consent to donate your organs and/or tissue upon death. You can register anytime while:
- Registering for health insurance coverage (for the first time)
- Getting a new health card (if you have lost or damaged your card)
- Renewing your health card
- Changing information on your health card
Once you have registered, to ensure that your donation information is known, the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care will use and disclose your organ donation information at the appropriate time to the Trillium Gift of Life Network, Ontario’s organ and tissue donation agency.
Family have the final say about organ donation
Generally, family members have the final say as to whether organs are donated, and a doctor will rarely over-ride such a decision, even where the deceased person indicated he or she wanted organs donated. Therefore, it is important to discuss the issue with your family so that they can understand your intentions.
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