The Donation Process

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How donation works

Around 1,700 people are currently waitlisted for a transplant. A further 12,000 people are on dialysis of whom many would benefit from a kidney transplant. 

 

The donation process typically happens in four stages:

01

Registering as a Donor

Joining the Register helps to reassure your family of your wishes, because they would be asked to confirm whether you wanted to be a donor before donation for transplantation can occur.

Your information is protected. Only authorised staff can access the register to confirm your donation decision.

02

Talk with your family

Deciding to donate your organs and tissue on your death is a generous thing to do. Your decision could save and improve the lives of many.

But it's important that your loved ones know that you are willing to be a donor. This is because they will be asked to confirm you wanted to be a donor before donation can proceed. The most important thing for families is knowing what their loved one wanted.

03

Donation after death

There’s important information to support you and your family to make a decision about donation that is right for you and your loved one. The way a person dies influences how the donation process occurs and which organs and tissues can be donated.

04

About transplantation 

Transplantation can save and significantly improve the lives of many people who are sick or dying. But it’s only possible following the donation of organs and tissues from living or deceased person. It involves the removal of an organ or tissue from one person (the donor) for transplant into another person (the recipient).


 

Registering to be a donor

Joining the Australian Organ Donor Register can change the lives of people who receive transplants — and their families. This is a record of your decision to one day donate your organs and tissues on your death for transplantation to people who need them.

Joining the Register helps to reassure your family of your wishes, because they would be asked to confirm whether you wanted to be a donor before donation for transplantation can occur.

Your information is protected. Only authorised staff can access the register to confirm your donation decision.

How to register

Please join the Australian Organ Donor Register today. Registering only takes a minute and all you need is your Medicare Card number.

If you previously recorded a donation decision on your state driver’s licence, you still need to join the national Australian Organ Donor Register. South Australia is the only state where residents can record a donation decision via their driver’s licence.

Other ways to register

There are more ways to join the Australian Organ Donor Register:

If you are not sure if you are already registered, simply go through the same registration process and your record of registration will be checked.  You will be advised if you are already on the register.  

 

After you register

Once you’ve registered, tell your family.  In Australia the family is always asked to confirm the donation decision of their loved one. When their loved one is a registered donor,  9 in 10 families agree to donation.

Let them know about your decision and ask about theirs.

DonateLife’s ‘How to have the discussion about organ and tissue donation’ fact sheet can help get you started.