Everyone has their own reasons for deciding whether to become an organ and tissue donor. It is important that the people close to you understand those reasons. Your family need to know your decision because they will be asked to give consent. This topic page features inspiring videos about organ donation, stories and a factsheet about becoming an organ donor.

Topic Videos

Somebody that'll never know. Gotye Parody

A short parody that depicts Kimbra consenting for organ donation. This decision is made easier for her as her and Goyte have already had this conversation.
You can register to be an organ donor here: http://bit.ly/Yh3lrv and then #havethechat with your family by sharing this film!

  • Author: Brooke Huuskes
  • Upload Date: 2013-04-16

2013 FilmLife entry ~ 'Somebody that I'll never know' by Brooke Huuskes

Stories on this Topic

Featured Story (image)

Coen - Advocating for organ donation

Coen is just 14, has CF and is awaiting a double lung transplant. Coen has faced his chronic illness face on and has made a massive impact into the number of people signed up to the Australian Donor Registry by jet skiing the Murray River. Wow what an inspiration.

Update: Coen received his double lung transplant and is now living life to the full. His donor is a hero.

  • Author: TINO Crew
  • Upload Date: 2012-01-23

Follow Coen's inspiring story at http://www.coenashton.com.au


Provided by DonateLife

DonateLife's mission is to deliver a highly effective national organ and tissue donation system with the support of Australian governments, the clinical profession and the community.

Becoming an organ donor and tissue donor

Did you know?

  • Although more young people are discussing organ and tissue donation, one in two young people don't know their family members' donation wishes.
  • 40% of young people are unaware that one day they could be asked to confirm the donation wishes of a family member, should the situation arise.

Explore this factsheet and videos to find out more about making your decision about becoming an organ donor.

Decided about becoming an organ and tissue donor?

Everyone has their own reasons for deciding whether to become an organ and tissue donor. It is important that the people close to you understand those reasons. Your family need to know your decision because they will be asked to give consent.

Families that know each other’s donation decisions are more likely to uphold them. Families that do not know the wishes of the deceased are much less likely to agree to donation.

You may think you are too old or unhealthy to be a donor. Or that your religion doesn’t support organ and tissue donation. These are common myths and misconceptions.

Discover the facts about organ and tissue donation. This will help you make an informed decision about whether to become an organ and tissue donor. You can register your decision online at the Australian Organ Donor Register (www.medicareaustralia.gov.au), call 1800 777 203 or complete a form at any Medicare branch.

You still need to discuss your decision with your family.

When is a good time to start a family discussion?

Today. You can use every day situations to start a discussion on important life issues, including what to do with your organs and tissues when you die. This might include:

  • the next time your family sits down together for a meal
  • making a will or advanced health directive
  • getting life insurance or income protection
  • leaving home for the first time as a young adult
  • getting or renewing your driver’s licence
  • celebrating an anniversary with your partner
  • having a significant birthday: 21, 30, 40, 50 or more
  • getting a check-up at the GP
  • hearing about someone who has been a donor, needs a transplant or has had a transplant
  • watching donation and transplantation stories on TV or
  • seeing a media article
  • seeing or hearing an ad on TV, radio or billboards
  • seeing a traumatic event in the news
  • after a friend or family member dies
  • when children discuss the topic at school.
If you have already had a discussion with your family about your wishes, these events provide a good opportunity to repeat your decision to ensure they are remembered.

Why does my family need to know my decision?

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.

It’s not my family’s business

Yes it is. Your family will be asked to confirm your wishes to become a donor when you die.

I’ll think about it later

Most people who become donors die suddenly and unexpectedly.

I don’t have time. I’m too busy

It does not take long to register your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register and to have a discussion with your family.

My family won’t understand

Organ and tissue donation is a sensitive subject. The decision to become a donor is a personal and important one. To make the right decision for yourself, you need to have the facts so that your decision is informed. Your family might also need time to discover the facts and make their own decisions.
This resource aims to assist your family to have an informed, memorable discussion about each other’s donation decisions.

Did you know...?

  • Australia has a world class reputation for successful transplant outcomes.
  • In 2012, 354 organ donors gave 1,052 transplant recipients a new chance in life.
  • Around 1600 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time.
  • On average, people on the transplant list must wait between six months and four years.
  • In 2012, the Australian population had 15.6 deceased donors per million people.
  • In Australia, less than 60% of families of potential donors give consent for organ donation to proceed.
  • The most important thing that helps a family’s decision is their knowing the wishes of their loved one.
If you want to donate life, it is important to discuss it today

Family discussion

Almost half of all Australians don’t realise that their family will be asked to confirm their wishes about possible organ and tissue donation.
You can help your family and friends have (and remember) the discussion.
Visit donatelife.gov.au for suggestions on how to start that discussion.
the facts about organ and tissue donation
about becoming a donor
 your decision with the people close to you
For more information please visit www.donatelife.gov.au
Related Pages

there are no Related Pages available.

Why not try another option?

Latest Topics

Join the Discussion

Tell us how you have positively managed this topic and help others find their way through...

13 Responses to “Becoming an Organ Donor”

  1. lynz says:

    Another great way you can help others right now, whilst you are upright and healthy is by donating blood and also registering to become a bone marrow donor – this to will help save the lives of many.




    My partners life was saved by a bone marrow donor and many many people who donated blood.

    What a gift of life he and our whole family have been given.

  2. Xin says:

    Fantastic! In my Social Policy class at uni, one girl gave a presentation on organ donation. I’ll share a few pieces of what I’ve learned!
    -The window for actually being able to use a person’s organs after they’re deceased is very narrow. Therefore organ donors are very rare and in high demand.
    -According to Australian law (at least in WA), doctors are actually legally allowed to harvest a person’s organs without the consent of their family (unless there is compelling evidence to suggest they would prefer not to). However, most doctors follow the wishes of the family in preference to following the law.
    -Most families say “No” when asked for consent. This is mainly due to the shock of having a loved one die and having a very short amount of time to make the decision. If they aren’t sure of the person’s wishes, they’re likely to refuse out of respect to them. Refusal rates can be lowered if doctors receive special training about how to make that difficult phone call.
    -Paradoxically, most organ donors would not want to donate the organs of their loved ones. I’m fine with people taking my liver, but I’d be reluctant for them to take my girlfriend’s if she suddenly died!

  3. Beverley says:

    I wish to become an organ and body donor. However I am now 75 years old and in very good health. Maybe older people are not required. Beverley

  4. REEJA says:


  5. Neal says:

    I ticked the lot. Organs, tissue, marrow .I won’t need them when I am gone. May as well help others yeah !

  6. Robina says:

    I am a registered donor.
    I plan on having an enduring power of attorney for medical purposes, as I do not wish to be kept alive by resuscitation. Will this affect my ability to be a donor?

    • TINO Crew says:

      Hi Robina, That is awesome you have registered – i suggest visiting donatelife and checking out more details there, you may even be able to phone and have a chat so that you can then discuss with your family in details your wishes around donation – well done you. http://www.donatelife.gov.au/

  7. Llew. says:

    I have had cancer. I am coming up to five years since being diagnosed as being cancer free.

    My blood type is “O” neg.

    In view of my medical history is it worthwhile to register as an organ donor?

    Please advise.

  8. Mark Krol says:

    My doctor sent me to see an specialist, 4 or 5 years ago and in the forms the specialist gave me where also organ donation forms for consideration.

    I filled out these forms and sent them off and never herd anything.

    Is that normal procedure?

  9. alan gurney says:

    i would like to start the process to donate my organs in the event of my death could please let me know how i go about this

Leave a Reply

Name (required)

Email (will not be published) (required)