Organ and tissue donation
Register your consent
There are three ways you can register your consent:
- Register your decision in the Régie de l’assurance maladie du Québec’s (RAMQ) Organ and Tissue Donation Registry
- Register your decision in the Chambre des notaires du Québec’s Organ and Tissue Donation Registry
- Sign the sticker and put it on the back of your health insurance card
Registering your consent with the RAMQ or Chambre des notaires du Québec registries has enormous advantages. Your registration is valid for life, does not have to be renewed and can be accessed when required by authorized staff.
Register with the RAMQ’s Organ and Tissue Donation Registry
You must complete the Consent to Organ and Tissue Donation form. You can:
- Download your personalized form on the RAMQ site ;
- Call the RAMQ to order your form
- Use the form sent by the RAMQ with the renewal notice for your health insurance card
The RAMQ automatically sends the consent form by mail, with the health insurance card renewal notice, to anyone who is not already registered with the Registry. If you are already registered, you will no longer receive the form with subsequent health insurance card renewal notices.
Once you have completed the form, you must send it to the RAMQ, which will register your consent in the Organ and Tissue Donation Registry.
The information sent to the RAMQ is confidential.
If you change your mind, you can inform the RAMQ by completing the Revocation of Consent to Organ and Tissue Donation form. The form is available at RAMQ offices or by telephone . If you withdraw your consent, the RAMQ will destroy your consent form and the information on the form. This will mean that you are no longer registered.
Register with the Chambre des notaires du Québec’s Organ and Tissue Donation Registry
You can discuss organ and tissue donation with your notary. He will register your consent or refusal in a registry created for this purpose by the Chambre des notaires du Québec and register your decision in the registry and in your will or mandate.
When you die, insofar as you are a potential donor, authorized staff will be able to check the registry to see if you have given your consent to organ and tissue donation.
This information can then be given to your loved ones.
Sign the sticker and put it on the back of your health insurance card
The organ and tissue donation consent sticker is sent at the same time as the new health insurance card when the card is renewed. You can also get the sticker from a number of institutions in the health network and from various organizations that promote organ and tissue donation. Or you can order the sticker online on the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux website.
Tell your family and friends about your decision
Let your family and friends know whether or not you have given your consent to organ and tissue donation. Look for opportunities to talk about it, such as a school project, a testimonial that you read in a magazine or the fact that someone you know is waiting for a transplant.
When you die, the medical team will ask your loved ones about your wishes. Letting people know that you wish to be an organ or tissue donor after you die will greatly simplify the donation process. If they are aware of your wishes, your loved ones will be able to speak on your behalf. Otherwise, your family will have to make the decision in accordance with legal provisions. It is often because they were unaware of the person’s wishes that, when they are not sure, some families do not allow or are unable to allow organ and tissue donation. Irrespective of whether or not you want to be a donor, take the initiative and talk about it.
You can also choose what organs or tissues you would like to donate. When you discuss it with your loved ones, tell them if there are any restrictions on your consent with respect to the donation of certain organs or tissues. Your loved ones will have to sign an authorization form when you die before the donation can take place.
Retrieval and transplantation specialists intervene only after all attempts to save the patient’s life have failed and death is confirmed. The doctor’s main concern is to treat the person and, if possible, save their life.
Once death is confirmed, Transplant Québec and Héma-Québec, at the request of a doctor or an authorized person, search the registries to see if the person has registered their consent to be a donor. If the person has not recorded their wishes, the family will have to make the decision.
Organs and tissues are retrieved by specialized teams who ensure that the procedure is performed with respect for human dignity and that it does not affect the person’s appearance. The donor’s body is then released to their loved ones and may be laid out at the funeral home.
For tissue recovery, Héma-Québec generally has a maximum of 24 hours after the person is pronounced dead. Organ recovery must be performed very quickly after the person is pronounced dead.
If a recipient wishes to contact the organ donor’s family, or vice versa, contact will be made through Transplant Québec, subject to the other party’s agreement and maintaining anonymity at all times.
Last update: February 23, 2023