Tissue Donation Process

What happens when I die and I have indicated that I want to be a tissue donor?

If you die in a PEI hospital, you will be assessed for your potential to be a tissue donor. If it is possible for you to be a tissue donor, Health PEI staff will call the Regional Tissue Bank in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The specialist from the Tissue Bank will review your medical history and current health to determine if you can be a tissue donor. Health care professionals on PEI will consult the PEI Intent to Donate Registry to determine your wishes regarding tissue donation. Your family will be offered the option to donate tissues. If your family supports the option to donate, a Tissue Bank Specialist will talk to them about the donation process, get consent, and ask questions about your social and medical history.

If donation is still a possibility, your body will be transferred to Halifax where the tissue retrieval will take place. After the procedure, your body is transported to your chosen funeral home at no extra cost to your family.

Will being a tissue donor delay my funeral?  Will it prevent an open casket funeral?

The surgery to remove tissues is done with the same care as any other surgery. The donor’s body is treated with respect and dignity.  All areas affected by tissue removal are reconstructed. This is very important with eye donation. In these cases, the eye area is reconstructed so you cannot tell that surgery was done. Usually, you can expect the body to be released to the funeral home 24-48 hours after the person has passed away.

Most of the time, there is no way to tell that the person was a tissue donor, and you can have an open casket funeral. All donations are confidential; however, if you would like others to know that your loved one was a donor; you may want to include this information in the obituary, the funeral program, or the eulogy.

Who do I contact for more information?

Provincial Organ and Tissue Coordinating Program Manager
95-105 Rochford Street
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-5920
Email: organandtissue@gov.pe.ca

Published date: 
March 13, 2020
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121