Canadians Back Opt-Out System for Organ and Tissue Donation

Support for change is highest in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec.

Vancouver, BC [August 21, 2019] – A majority of Canadians would welcome a modification in the way the registries of organ and tissue donors are compiled across the country, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, more than three-in-five Canadians (63%) think their province should “definitely” or “probably” implement an “Active Donor Registration” system for organ and tissue donation after death.

Some jurisdictions around the world have established “Active Donor Registration” systems for organ and tissue donation. Under these systems, every person over the age of 18 is considered an organ and tissue donor after death unless they specifically opt-out of a registry.

Across the country, 25% of Canadians are opposed to their province implementing an opt-out system for organ and tissue donation and 13% are undecided.

Earlier this year, Nova Scotia’s House of Assembly unanimously passed the “Human Organ and Tissue Act”. The law makes every single person who has resided in the province for at least a year a potential organ and tissue donor after death. Nova Scotians who do not wish to be donors are able to opt-out of the system.

 “Support for enacting an opt-out system for organ and tissue donation reaches 66% in British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “A majority of residents of Manitoba and Saskatchewan (63%), Atlantic Canada (59%) and Ontario (57%) would also welcome the change.”


Results are based on an online study conducted from August 12 to August 14, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:

Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.