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Quebec commission to study possibility of implementing presumed organ donation


Quebec is looking at ways to increase organ donation and is studying the possibility of enforcing presumed consent.

That is, assuming a deceased patient is a donor unless there is proof to the contrary.

Currently, the province requires the opposite: consent in order to donate.

Although the number of organ donations continues to grow in Quebec, needs exceed the number of donors and transplants.

Members of the National Assembly are expected to hear from experts on Tuesday on how to optimize donations.

Last spring, Quebec Liberal Party (PLQ) Official Opposition Critic for Health, André Fortin, proposed a bill to introduce the presumption of consent for organ and tissue donation.

"It's time to draw inspiration from other jurisdictions around the world that have adopted presumed consent to increase organ donation rates," he said.

According to the latest data from Transplant Québec, the organization coordinating the organ donation process, 171 deceased donors enabled 584 transplants in 2022.

That year, 913 people were waiting for a donation and 47 passed away while still on the list.

Figures for 2023 are expected at the end of February.

Transplant Québec Executive Director Martine Bouchard said she wants "a single conductor" to coordinate, transport and raise public awareness. She asserts that there is no single solution and a range of measures must be implemented to raise organ donation rates.

She says she hopes to see legislation passed this year, arguing that it could save more lives.

-- The Canadian Press health content receives funding through partnership with the Canadian Medical Association. The Canadian Press is solely responsible for editorial choices.

-- This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Jan. 30, 2024. Top Stories

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