N.S. to adopt presumed consent for organ donations under new legislation

Nova Scotia would become the first jurisdiction in North America to adopt presumed consent around organ donation under proposed legislation.

Under the Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, all people in the province would be considered organ donors unless they opt out.

Premier Stephen McNeil says the goal is to ensure there are more potential organ donors in order to save lives.

Under the legislation, families will continue to be consulted about their loved ones' wishes regarding organ or tissue donation.

Those under 19 and people without decision-making capacity would be exempt, and would only be considered as donors if a parent, guardian or alternate decision-maker opts them in.

McNeil says the legislation won't take effect for at least a year to allow time for planning and public awareness.