A new poll shows that 84 per cent of Canadians support the donation of human organs and tissue after death, but fewer appear willing to be donors themselves.

“Two thirds of Canadians (68 per cent) say they would want their organs and tissue to be donated after their death, while 21 per cent disagree and 11 per cent are undecided,” Research Co., who conducted the poll, said in a news release.

Even fewer have officially committed to being donors.

“Across the country, only 43 per cent of Canadians say they have registered to be an organ and tissue donor after their death,” Research Co. said.

In contrast with this figure, the Canadian government says less than one quarter of Canadians are registered donors.

“On the issue of organ and tissue donation after death, the thoughts and actions of Canadians differ greatly,” Mario Canseco, president of Research Co., said in the news release. “While two thirds want to go through with donations, fewer than half have actually registered to do so.”

According to the survey, Canadians aged 55 and over are the most supportive of the practice (92 per cent), followed by those aged 35-54 (84 per cent) and aged 18-34 (78 per cent).

Some jurisdictions around the world, including in Canada, have made organ donation compulsory, with the option to opt out of the system. In January of 2021, Nova Scotia’s “Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act” came into effect. The law registers every adult who has lived in the province at least a year for organ and tissue donation after death. Those who do not wish to be donors are allowed to opt out.

Almost two thirds of Canadians, 65 per cent, “definitely” or “probably” want their provincial government to implement a similar system, according to Research Co.

The survey was conducted from Oct. 1 to Oct. 3 of this year among 1,000 adults in Canada.


Reporting for this story was paid for through The Afghan Journalists in Residence Project funded by Meta.