Cultural, Ethical and Religious Perspectives

In Quebec, advances in medical science have led to an increase in the number of transplants performed. Yet despite this, organs from deceased donors are rare and there are still not enough available to meet the needs of all the people awaiting a transplant.



The strategies employed to promote organ donation sometimes raise ethical questions. To study such questions, Transplant Québec created its Ethics Committee, which reports to the organization’s Board of Directors. Committee members represent the various disciplines with expertise on ethical issues. Transplant Québec is the only organ donation organization in Canada with such a committee. For more on the subject :

Position statement on the anonymity of communications between donors or their loved ones and organ recipients, delivered by Transplant Québec’s Ethics Committee


The Transplant Québec Ethics Committee issued a position statement on the anonymity of communications between donors or their loved ones and organ recipients. The document describes the current situation with respect to such anonymity at Transplant Québec as well as the situations that led to the re-examination of the issue. The document provides an overview of the various anonymity policies in use elsewhere. The committee’s position statement attempts to compare the relative benefits and drawbacks of maintaining the status quo versus potentially changing the policy. Beyond the benefits and drawbacks, the report also attempts to establish an approach likely to support the rule of anonymity in a jurisdiction like Quebec. Lastly, the report tenders a more formal recommendation regarding Transplant Québec’s position on the anonymity of communications.

Both the recommendation and the position statement were adopted by the Board of Directors on June 9, 2009. Transplant Québec’s position is therefore to:


the rule of anonymity regarding communications between donors and recipients;

the procedure to be followed by clinical coordinators/advisors to provide for a certain degree of consistency in the application of the rule, despite the attention required by each individual case;

a formal resolution to this effect.

To view the complete document, please e-mail Lise Bourbonnais at:

Also, an ever-current reference: Position Statement – Organ Donation and Transplantation: Ethical Dilemmas Due to Shortage, Commission de l’éthique de la science et de la technologie, Quebec, 2004. The PDF version of the document is available at:




Most religions are supportive of organ donation. However, some have different views on organ donation and the donation process. For an interpretation or guidelines, please refer to the relevant authorities.