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Full story: CBC News Avery’s Law

New Brunswick has become the second jurisdiction in Canada to adopt a presumed consent model for organ and tissue donation.

Under amendments to the Human Tissue Gift Act passed last week, most New Brunswickers 19 and older will automatically be presumed to agree to donate their organs and tissues when they die — unless they opt out, also known as deemed consent.

People with an intellectual disability will be exempt, along with anyone who has lived in the province for less than a year.

It’s expected to take at least two years before the new system can be implemented, the Department of Health has said.

Under the current system, New Brunswickers who want to donate their organs and tissues have to check the appropriate box when they apply for or renew their Medicare card.

Opposition bill sees unanimous support

The bill, introduced by the Liberals in May, received unanimous support during third reading last Thursday, amid the political upheaval surrounding a review of Policy 713.

Bill 52, the Human Organ and Tissue Donation Act, is now known as Avery’s Law.

Michelle Conroy, the Tory MLA for Miramichi, suggested the name change in honour of  Avery Astle, 16, who died after a crash in Miramichi in April 2019, along with three other teens.

Avery’s parents wanted to donate his organs and tissues, including his eyes, but were told no one from the donation team run by Horizon Health was available to retrieve his organs.

“We’ve come a long way to see this bill finally come to where it stands today so I’m very excited to see this, especially after the last couple of weeks we’ve have in this house,” said Conroy.

“I certainly think that everybody can agree that it’s nice to come together on something for a change. It’s been a long couple of weeks.”