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A Big North American First for Organ Donation

Nova Scotia is instituting 'presumed consent'
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2019 7:13 PM CDT
Stock photo.   (Getty Images / ThitareeSarmkasat)

(Newser) – It's a first in North America: Nova Scotia will switch to a system that presumes consent for organ and tissue donation. That means you can opt out if you don't want to donate your organs, but if you take no action, you are assumed to be a donor. (Those under 19 or who cannot legally consent are exempted.) The legislation, which was tabled by Premier Stephen McNeil Tuesday, will not go into effect right away; government officials will spend 12 to 18 months informing the public about the changes and readying the health care system before the bill is proclaimed into law, the CBC reports. One doctor said areas in Europe that have enacted similar legislation have seen organ transplants increase by as much as 35%, the Toronto Star reports. (Read more organ donation stories.)

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