The Australian Organ Donor Register is a way for people to formally register their decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor. Organ and tissue transplants give many people a second chance at life, or significantly improve the quality of their lives. In Australia family consent is always sought before donation can proceed.
It’s important that you discuss organ and tissue donation with your family so that they will know if you wish to donate organs and tissues after you die. It’s also important to ask and know the donation wishes of your family members.
Discuss organ donation with your family
As part of the national reform package for organ and tissue donation, the family of every potential donor will be asked to give their consent to donation if the situation arises. The request will be made by trained health professionals.
Even if you have registered your wish to be a donor, your family will still be asked to give consent.
The most important thing people want to know in order to make a decision about a family member becoming a donor is the wishes of the deceased.
Many Australians have not informed their family of their donation decision. Many family members do not confidently know each other’s donation decision. Many people have not discussed their donation decision with family members in the past 12 months. Many cannot remember.
How the Register works
You can register your decision to be an organ and tissue donor at the Australian Organ Donor Register
or at any Medicare Office using the provided form. If you die in hospital, authorised staff are then able to:
•Discuss your wishes with your family
•Seek consent from your family to proceed with organ and tissue donation
Death at home or away from a hospital rules out organ donation (as oxygen has been lost for the vital organs) but retrieval of tissue material may still be possible for several hours after death away from a hospital.