Alberta Health ServicesCovenant HealthUniversity of Alberta

Organ and Tissue Donation

Here we will provide information on organ and tissue donation for the Palliative Care Clinician (prepared by the Comprehensive Tissue Centre or CTC).

Why is it Important to Discuss Patient and Family Wishes Regarding Organ and Tissue Donation?

Discussing organ and tissue donation allows patients and families to communicate their wishes with each other and their health care providers so that at the end of life, appropriate action can be taken in keeping with the patient’s goals of care. The accompanying patient brochure is designed to provide patients and families with basic information about organ and tissue donation should they be interested.

If patients and families express an interest, medical professionals are to refer to the Comprehensive Tissue Centre (CTC) in Edmonton. The CTC is responsible for followup.

Approaching Patients and Families: How Do I Initiate a Conversation about Organ and Tissue Donation?

A conversation about organ and tissue donation can be included as part of any end of life care discussion with the family or patient. Here are some sample phrases you could use in your conversation:

“On the back of your Alberta Personal Health Card is the Universal Donor Card. Have you [patient] and your family discussed organ and tissue donation?”

“Here is a brochure with information about organ and tissue donation. If you would like more information, I can arrange for a Tissue Specialist to contact you. Would you like me to do that?”

”Do you have any questions that I or the Tissue Specialist can help answer?”

Contact Information

If you have approached a family or patient about tissue donation and they require answers or want to proceed, page the CTC Specialist on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) locating at 780-407-8822 or by calling 1-866-407-1970. The CTC will respond and answer any related questions, complete all screening, obtain consent, and follow up with the family and/or patient. Ensure a current contact number is available for responding to the family and/or patient inquiry.

For more information such as FAQ's, Deferral criteria, Timeline Requirements or the patient brochure.