The CIUSSS de l’Estrie – CHUS is encouraging the public to discuss the idea of organ and tissue donation with their families before a crisis strikes. Failing to do so can result in potential donations being withheld because loved ones are unaware of the wishes of the deceased. About 90 per cent of Quebecers support organ and tissue donation, but only 4 out of 10 have formalized their decision with the Quebec Health Insurance Board (RAMQ) or the Quebec Chambre des notaires registry. The subject of organ and tissue donation is rarely discussed between potential donors and their families. "One of the reasons for a family's refusal to donate organs and tissue from their deceased loved one is that they are unaware of last wishes. Last year, in the Estrie region, 63 per cent of families justified their refusal in this way,” says Organ Donation Resource Nurse Annie Chouinard, who works for the CIUSSS of Estrie – CHUS Benoit Lefebvre, the father of a young donor, confirmed: "We must think about this before the situation arises. When it happens, on the spot, it is much too difficult. We experience so much emotion.” Although a person may decide before dying to donate organs and tissues, care teams still want the consent of the family, as it is they who ultimately have the final word. "On our side, we look in the records and on the health insurance card to know the person’s wishes and talk with the family,” Chouinard said..” But sometimes, there is nothing there. People must make a choice if unaware of their loved one’s desires. With all the emotions involved, it's harder for the family, much harder.” See full story in the Friday, April 20th edition of The Record.