1200x600 HOTDA en

On Monday,  January 18 2021, the law for organ and tissue donation changed in Nova Scotia, making it possible for more Nova Scotians to donate their organs and tissues.

With the new changes in effect, people who don’t register to be a donor or opt out and are eligible will be seen as having consented to donating their organs and tissues after death. This is referred to as deemed consent.

Those eligible will be referred to the Organ and Tissue Donation Program to determine if they are clinically suitable candidates for donation.

Those who are not eligible for deemed consent include:

  • people 18 or younger
  • people without decision-making capacity
  • people who have lived in Nova Scotia less than 12 months

A person who is not eligible for deemed consent may still be able to be a donor if they, or someone on their behalf, consents to donation. For example, Nova Scotians 16 and over can indicate their wish to be a donor through their Health Card renewal process.

Why the law is changing

Organ and tissue donation saves lives, and gives hope to those waiting for life-saving and life-enhancing transplants. One donor can save or improve the lives of over 80 people.

Donated organs – such as heart, liver, kidneys and lungs – save the lives of those who need them.

Donated tissues – such as skin, bone, tendons, heart valves and corneas – can restore sight and mobility, help people recover from cancer surgery, and save the lives of burn patients and those who are critically ill with heart disease.

This change will help Nova Scotians waiting for a transplant get one sooner by increasing organ and tissue donation. It’s a change that will change lives.

Where to find more information

Legacy of Life is Nova Scotia’s source for information about what organ and tissue donation is and how it works, as well as clear answers to common questions and misunderstandings.

You can can also read the province's Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act Information Guide HERE, and a link to the legislation HERE.

Healthcare professionals also have an additional resource HERE through NSH.