Organ and Tissue Donation

Organ and Tissue Donation Registration Process

Last modified: 
Mon, 07/13/2020 - 11:21

How can I become an organ / tissue donor?

  • Plan ahead. If you decide to become an organ and tissue donor, discuss it with your family.
  • The Government of the Northwest Territories has created an Organ and Tissue Donation Consent Form for NWT residents to help communicate your intent to donate. Your family may be asked before donation happens, however, so it is important they know your wishes.

What is an organ and tissue donation registry?

  • An organ and tissue donation registry records your choices about organ and tissue donation.
  • If you do not wish to have all your organs and tissues donated, a registry also identifies which organs and tissues you want to be donated.
  • Adding your name to a registry, however, will not ensure your organs and tissues will be donated. The registry can help demonstrate your wishes, but you should still discuss your choice directly with your family so that they can express your wishes to your health care professional.

Does the NWT have an organ and tissue donation registry?

  • The Government of the Northwest Territories has partnered with Alberta’s Department of Health so that NWT residents can participate in Alberta’s Organ and Tissue Donation Registry.

How do I register to be an organ and tissue donor?

  • Any NWT resident who is 16 years or older can complete an Organ and Tissue Donation Consent Form.
  • Download the consent form or call the Office of the System Navigator at 1-855-846-9601.
  • You can drop the completed form off at your local health centre, email it to otdonation@gov.nt.ca, or you can mail it directly to:

Health Services Administration Office
Department of Health and Social Services
Government of the Northwest Territories
Bag #9
Inuvik, NT X0E 0T0

  • The Health Services Administration Office ensures the name and health care number on the form are the same as those on your NWT health care plan. This helps avoid any unintended identity mistakes.
    • If the names / health care numbers do not match, the Health Services Administration Office will contact you.
  • Once your name and health care number are confirmed, the Health Services Administration Office will send the form to Alberta’s Department of Health, where your consent form will be added to the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry.
  • In the event of your death and where organ / tissue donation is possible, the Alberta Donor Coordinators will print a copy of the form and provide it to the medical team to review with your family.
  • It is important to know changes are not effective immediately. It may take several weeks before your information is added to the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry. This is one more reason why it is important to discuss your organ and tissue donation wishes directly with your family.
  • The Department of Health and Social Services will not be issuing notifications or donation cards to confirm registration. However, if there is an issue with your form that prevents the Department of Health and Social Services from sharing it with Alberta (incomplete information, for example), the Department will contact you.

  • If you have any questions or concerns about the registration process, please feel free to call the Office of the System Navigator at 1-855-846-9601.

Can my organs / tissues still be donated if my name is not added to the registry?

  • Regardless of whether you are in the registry or not, it may be up to your family to determine if your organs / tissues are donated after your death.
  • Having your name included in the registry, however, can help your family come to a decision that best reflects your donation wishes. 

Is there a fee to register to donate my organs or tissues?

  • No, there are no fees to register.

Will I be notified when I am added to the registry?

  • No, you will not be notified. However, if there are any concerns with your form, Health Services Administration will contact you.

Can I register my consent to be an organ and tissue donor online?

  • No, online registration for NWT residents is not an option at this time.

If I have completed my Organ and Tissue Donation Consent Form, will my family still be asked about donation?

  • Yes. If you are unable to provide your consent immediately before your death due to your illness or injury, a family member will be asked to sign a consent form saying they have been informed about, and agree with, the donation process.
  • The decision to donate is a personal one. Completing the Organ and Tissue Donation Consent Form and adding your name to the Organ and Tissue Donation Registry is an important way to communicate your wishes to your family
  • The family helps make decisions about donating and will most often agree to carry out their loved one’s wishes if they are aware of them.