Alberta is inviting residents of the NWT to voluntarily join the Alberta Organ and Tissue Donation Registry, which will increase the number of potential donors, and improve chances of a match for those who are waiting.

An agreement, signed between Alberta and the Northwest Territories on May 21st ensures that individuals’ personal information and privacy are respected and protected.

Due to a low population density and medical availability in the Northwest Territories, residents who die there cannot donate their organs and tissues. Patients requiring critical care are often transported to a hospital in Alberta, yet were not previously included in the Alberta registry.

Diane Thom, Minister of Health and Social Services, noted that providing NWT residents with the option to register their consent for organ and tissue donation is a long-standing commitment of the GNWT that is now possible through this agreement with Alberta.

Under the agreement, Alberta’s health-care teams can now access the registry to see if a patient from the NWT provided their consent to donate. The agreement includes measures to ensure that an individual’s personal information and privacy are respected and protected at all times.

The NWT will cover any costs associated with changes and maintenance to the registry that are needed to accommodate their citizens.

NWT residents will be able to donate organs and tissues, as long as they are in a hospital with access to donation services at the time of death, such as in Alberta. Registration is free and voluntary.

All personal health information collected, used, and disclosed will be done so in accordance with the NWT Human Tissue Donation Act and the Health Information Act.