Donate your organs

  • How does organ donation work?
  • How to become an organ donor
  • Talking to your family about organ donation
  • What you need to know
  • Common questions

You can help save lives by choosing to be an organ and tissue donor. Your family may find comfort in the fact that someone can now hope for a better life, thanks to your gift.

Find out more about becoming an organ donor.

Register to become an organ donor.

  1. How does organ donation work?

    There are a few different donation scenarios:

    • Living organ donation is when you're alive and you donate an organ or part of an organ to another person.
    • Cadaveric organ donation is when someone dies suddenly and their loved ones opt to have their vital organs artificially maintained by ventilator to keep them suitable for a transplant.
    • Tissue donation can take place in most cases when someone's died. With tissue donation, there's no need for blood flow to be maintained by artificial ventilation after death.

    Under Yukon's Human Tissue Gift Act, you can donate organs or tissues:

    • needed for transplant; or
    • needed for transplant research.
  2. How to become an organ donor

    Talk to your family. It's very important that they understand, support and respect your wishes. They'll be asked for final consent to donate your organs after your death.

    To become an organ and tissue donor:

    1. Download and print the organ donor registration form or get a form at the Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan office.
    2. Complete the form and submit it:

      By mail:
      Government of Yukon
      Yukon Health Care Insurance Plan (H–2)
      Box 2703 
      Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6

      In person: Drop it off at our office on the 4th floor of the Financial Plaza building at 204 Lambert Street in Whitehorse.
       
    3. Donors will receive an updated sticker for their health care cards indicating their donor status.
    4. Donors who change their mind may cancel their registration at any time.
  3. Talking to your family about organ donation

    Even if you've signed a donor card or are registered as a donor, doctors will ask your family before taking organs or tissue.

    Things can be made a little easier if your family is aware of your wishes. Knowing that your final wishes were carried out and helped save lives can be a great source of comfort for them.

    Talking it over

    Here are some tips on how to discuss this important decision with your family:

    1. Prepare for your conversation.
      • Make your personal decision about whether you want to donate organs or tissue.
      • Think about possible questions and seek answers.
    2. Find a comfortable place to talk.
    3. Talk with everyone who may be called to your bedside if you were about to die. These people will be asked for permission to proceed with donation. Talk to them about your decision and listen to their concerns.
    4. Find out what each person would want you to say if you were ever asked for permission to donate their organs or tissues.

    Show your support for organ donation

    Here are some ways you can show your support for organ donation:

    • Wear a green ribbon.
    • Share the story of someone who needs a transplant or has received one.
    • Show people your signed donor card.
  4. What you need to know

    Here are the basic facts:

    • Everyone is a potential organ and tissue donor, regardless of how old you are.
    • Retrieval of organs and tissue is carried out with respect and dignity. It does not interfere with funeral practices and no one will know about your gift of life unless your family tells them.
    • Organs and tissue that can be donated after death include the:
      • heart and heart valves;
      • liver;
      • kidneys;
      • pancreas;
      • lungs;
      • small bowel;
      • stomach;
      • corneas;
      • bone; and
      • skin.
    • Most major religions support organ and tissue donation. If your religion restricts the use of a body after death, consult your religious leader. The restrictions may not apply if the donation could save another life.
    • Studies show that donating the organs and tissue of a loved one who's died can provide immediate comfort and long-lasting consolation to family members in their grieving.
  5. Common questions

    Do transplants really work?

    Absolutely. Transplant procedures and outcomes continue to improve each year. Most transplant patients live enhanced productive lives.

    Am I too old?

    No. In Canada the oldest organ donor was over 90. The oldest tissue donor was 102 years old.

    Are my organs suitable for transplantation?

    Your age and medical condition at the time of your death will determine which organs are suitable for donation.

    If I say yes to organ donation, do I have to donate everything?

    No. When you register as an organ donor, you can choose what you wish to donate.

    Can my family overrule my wishes?

    Your family will be asked if they know your wishes about organ donation and for their agreement. While your wishes can be overruled, most families want to carry out the wishes of their loved ones. That's why it's so important to discuss organ donation with your family and let them know your wishes.

    Does organ and tissue donation affect funeral services?

    Retrieval of donated organs and tissue is carried out with surgical skill, respect and dignity. It does not interfere with funeral arrangements. Organ donation happens within a few hours after death and there's no reason to delay arrangements.

    In Yukon, a team of medical personnel, including doctors and nurses, comes from Vancouver to transport the donor by air to the nearest large centre where their organs and tissue will be retrieved. The donor is then brought back to Yukon.

    Can I donate your corneas if I wear glasses?

    In most cases, people who wear glasses or contact lenses can become corneal donors.

    Can I change my mind?

    Yes, you can change your mind about becoming a donor. You may cancel your registration at any time.


Contact 

To find out more about organ donation phone 867-667-5209, toll-free in Yukon 1-800-661-0408, extension 5209.

In person: 4th floor, Financial Plaza at 204 Lambert Street in Whitehorse

Fax: 867-393-6486

Mail:
Government of Yukon
Organ donation program (H–2)
Box 2703
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6