Nova Scotia just became the first jurisdiction in North America to implement automatic organ donation for those who live in the region.
On Monday, January 18, the province’s new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act will officially come into effect.
Place in North America to implement it
It basically means that all residents will now be automatically added to an organ donor list, providing they don’t choose to opt out.
The aim is to get more Nova Scotians to give up their organs after they’ve died, through presumed or “deemed consent.”
The new legislation doesn’t force anyone to donate their body parts, though. Anyone in the province can opt out at any time.
However, if you do nothing at all, it will be assumed that you are happy to donate your organs and tissue when you die.
An individual's decision will be recorded in the Health Card Registry and displayed on their Health Card.
According to Global News, the new system could see donations rise by up to 50% within five years.
Furthermore, just one person’s organs and tissues, which may include skin, bone, heart valves, corneas and more, could change or save up to 80 lives.
Exempt from the opt-out program right now are people under 19 years old, people who are unable to make decisions about their health and those who have lived in Nova Scotia for less than 12 months.