The law for organ and tissue donation is changing in NS

On January 18, 2021, the law for Organ and Tissue Donation is changing in Nova Scotia.

On this date, people who have not registered a decision to be a donor, or have not registered a decision to opt out, and are eligible, will be seen to have consented to donating their organs and tissues after death. This is called ‘deemed consent’ under the new Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act. Those eligible will be automatically referred to the Organ and Tissue Donation Program to determine if they are a suitable candidate for donation.

This change will help Nova Scotians waiting for a transplant get one sooner by increasing organ and tissue donation. It’s a change that will change many lives.

Deemed consent does not apply to:
• People under 19 years of age
• People without decision making capacity
• People who have lived in Nova Scotia less than 12 months

Deemed consent also doesn’t apply to living donation or to donation for scientific research or education purposes.

Registering your decision

You can register your decision to donate your organs and tissues after death if you have a Nova Scotia Health Card and are 16 or older. You can choose to donate all or some of your organs and tissues. Or you can choose to opt out. Nova Scotians are encouraged to:


Learn more about organ and tissue donation and make your decision.


Talk with those closest to you so they can support your decision.


Record your decision by going to: or calling 902-496-7008.

To learn more about the changes to the Nova Scotia Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, visit:

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