Original language of petition: English
The Government of Canada recognizes that too many Canadians are on organ waitlists. Organ donation rates have been improving in Canada but it is clear that there is more work to be done. Every year, hundreds of Canadians die while waiting for an organ transplant. With over 4,300 people in Canada waiting for a transplant and only a fraction of Canadians registered as donors—the need is critical.
Provinces and territories (PTs) are responsible for the management and delivery of health services in their jurisdictions and have the authority to legislate their own policies and programs. As such, the decision to implement an opt-out mechanism for organ and tissue donation falls under their jurisdictions. The decision of the Government of Nova Scotia to implement opt-out legislation for organ and tissue donation makes it the first jurisdiction in North America to do so, with the aim of increasing donations in order to save more lives.
The Government of Canada will continue to work with Canadian Blood Services, the provinces and territories, and other stakeholders to strengthen the donation and transplantation system across Canada. Recent examples of key federal investments and activities in this area include:
The Standing Committee on Health completed a study on Organ Donation in Canada in 2018. As noted in that study, there are many challenges facing the OTDT system in Canada beyond the system of consent. All levels of government and a wide range of stakeholders must work together on system improvements. The Government Response recognized the need to do more on organ and tissue donation.
To address this challenge, since 2018, Health Canada has been leading an initiative called the Organ Donation and Transplantation Collaborative (the Collaborative) with provinces and territories (except Québec), Canadian Blood Services, patients, families, clinical and administrative stakeholders and researchers. The Collaborative’s goal is to achieve organ donation improvements that result in better patient outcomes and an increase in the number and quality of successful transplantations.
The Collaborative’s priorities are grounded in interviews conducted in 2018 with over 40 experts who provided perspectives on opportunities to improve organ donation rates, patient care and equity of access to donation and transplantation. They also reflect the intent and general direction of the Standing Committee of Health’s 2018 Study on Organ Donation in Canada. Priorities include for example:
A targeted federal investment of $5 million over 3 years is supporting priorities identified by the Collaborative, including a research initiative evaluating the impact of Nova Scotia’s opt-out legislation, understanding international experiences, and public and health care professional opinions.
Through the Collaborative and other actions, the Government remains firmly committed to improving the organ and tissue donation system in Canada, and most importantly, improving the quality of life of the thousands of Canadians who are currently waiting for a transplant.
Only validated signatures are counted towards the total number of signatures.
|Province / Territory||Signatures|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||9|
|Prince Edward Island||3|