Frequently Asked Questions


Got further questions about donation?

The Organ & Tissue Authority through their DonateLife website contains detailed answers to common questions. Check them out by clicking here, but in the meantime, here are some of their top FAQs:

How do I register my decision to be a donor?

People 16 years of age or older can register their donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register. The Australian Organ Donor Register is the only national register for people to record their decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor for transplantation after death. The Donor Register ensures a person’s donation decision can be verified 24 hours a day, seven days a week by authorised personnel anywhere in Australia. After a person’s death, information about their donation decision can be provided to their family. If you don’t want to become an organ and tissue donor, you can also use the register to record your decision not to donate. The donation pr

Can I register if I'm under 18? Can I register my children?

You can register an 'intent to be an organ and tissue donor' with the Australian Organ Donor Register from the age of 16. You can only fully register from the age of 18. Children cannot be registered by their parents, but their family can approve donation after they pass away. If you are under 18, or have children, a frank discussion about donation ensures your family is prepared if they need to make the decision.

What is the difference between organ and tissue donation?

A far greater number of people have the opportunity to donate tissue for transplantation. People can become eye and tissue donors up to 24 hours after death, regardless of where death occurs. Tissue donation doesn’t require the donor’s death to have occurred under the same limited circumstances as organ donation. Unlike organs, tissue can be stored for varying periods of time. Deceased organ donation can only happen after a person has died, usually in an intensive care unit and under strict conditions.

Is organ and tissue donation against my religion?

The uncertainty about whether someone's culture or faith supports organ and tissue donation can stop people from deciding about donation or talking about it with loved ones. All major religions support organ and tissue donation for transplantation. For more information about your faith and culture in a range of languages, take a look at DonateLife's multicultural resources.

Why do families need to discuss and know about their loved ones' organ and tissue donation decision?

It is important for every Australian family to know about and discuss their loved ones' organ and tissue donation decisions. To make the most of every potential organ and tissue donor, every Australian family needs to ask and know about their loved ones’ donation decisions. This is because the family of potential donors will be asked to consent before organ or tissue donation can proceed.

What happens if my family can't be contacted when I die and I'm registered as an organ and tissue donor?

The hospital and, if necessary, the police will make all efforts to contact your family and tell them you are in hospital. If your family cannot be contacted, a designated officer will try to contact your friends or acquaintances to see if they knew your donation decision. The Australian Organ Donor Register will also be checked. The officer will then make a recommendation to the medical team.