Australian Organ Donor Register
On this page
- Why donate organs and tissue?
- Who can register on the Donor Register?
- Which organs and tissue can be donated?
- How does the Donor Register work?
- Can the details recorded on the Donor Register be changed?
- Why do potential donors need to discuss organ and/or tissue donation with their family, partner or friend?
- How can GPs and practice staff be involved?
- Registering on the Donor Register
The Australian Organ Donor Register (the Donor Register) is administered by Medicare Australia on behalf of the Australian Government. The Donor Register keeps a record of individuals’ donation decisions and of the organs and/or tissue they agree to donate.
The Donor Register ensures an individual’s donation decision can be verified 24 hours a day, seven days a week by authorised medical personnel, anywhere in Australia. In the event of an individual’s death, information about their donation decision may be accessed from the Donor Register by authorised medical personnel and provided to the family. It is important for individuals to discuss their donation decision with their family or those close to them as they will be asked to give consent.
For people with serious or life-threatening illnesses, organ and/or tissue transplantation could mean a second chance at life. Around 1700 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time.
Since 1965, more than 30 000 Australians have received transplants. Improved survival rates now mean most organ and/or tissue recipients enjoy many years of high-quality life after their transplant.
An individual who chooses to record their donation decision on the Donor Register could save the lives of up to 10 people and improve the lives of dozens more.
Persons 16 years of age or older can register their donation decision on the Donor Register.
Recording a donation decision on the Donor Register is voluntary and the individual has complete choice over which organs and/or tissue they are prepared to donate.
Donation can involve:
- organs—including kidneys, heart, lungs, liver and pancreas
- tissue—including heart valves, bone tissue, skin and eye tissue.
Organ and/or tissue donation can only occur if a person has died under certain circumstances, and if consent to donation has been given. Information on the Donor Register is available to authorised medical personnel, anywhere in Australia, making it more likely that a potential donor’s decisions will be made available to medical staff and families.
If at any time an individual changes their mind about organ and/or tissue donation, they can update their information on the Donor Register. This can be done by:
- calling 1800 777 203
- downloading a New registration, change or removal of details form [PDF, 149Kb]
Why do potential donors need to discuss organ and/or tissue donation with their family, partner or friend?
While the Donor Register offers a simple and accessible method of recording an individual’s donation decision, it is important for the individual to discuss their decision with their family or those close to them as they will be asked to give consent.
The individual’s family or those close to them will be asked to confirm they had not changed their mind since they recorded their donation decision. Families that know each other’s donation decisions are more likely to uphold them.
Hospital procedures in relation to donation are one factor which can influence donation rates. Intensive care clinicians play an important role in maintaining intensive care patients, emergency department procedures and requesting donation. GPs can also play a role by talking to patients and families about the facts about organ and tissue donation.
Practice staff and GPs can request copies of brochures and posters to display or distribute to their patients by calling the Donor Register on 1800 777 203.
Individual’s wanting to record their donation decision can do so by:
- Registering Online
- Downloading a New registration, change or removal of details form [PDF, 149Kb]
- Visiting any Medicare office to pick up a brochure which includes a registration form
- Calling 1800 777 203 to register via phone or request a registration form be posted to you.
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Last updated: 6 June, 2012