One organ and tissue donor can transform the lives of 10 or more people, and Australia is a world leader for successful transplant outcomes. Around 1,500 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any time.
Organs such as the heart, lungs, pancreas, kidneys, cornea, liver, and skin can be transplanted to others in need. People of any age can be an organ donor.
Your medical condition and circumstances of your death will determine what organs and tissues can be donated. Once you make the decision to be a donor, record your decision. There are several ways you can document your decision to give an anatomical gift such as your driver’s license, Advance Health Care Directive, Living Will and the Australian Organ Donor Register. For more information, please visit: The Australian Organ Donor Registry.
It is important to inform your family. Your family will be notified of your decision to donate at the time of your death and that your decision to donate is being honored, so informing them beforehand, may avoid stress to them at a very difficult time. However, if your family is unaware of your request to be a donor and do not have immediate access to your documentation, they may be unable to carry out your wishes.
To assist you in reaching a decision, please visit: The Australian Government Donate Life website. A guide issued by the Australian Government – National Health and Medical Research Council may also assist you with making your decision. Please visit: The National Health and Medical Research Council. PDF.
Body Donation Programs
Donating your body to science is one of the greatest gifts one can give to make a lasting contribution to the education and training of our current & future health professionals and to advance science through research. The opportunity to be able to dissect the human body is a privilege not available in many parts of the world, and this is reflected through the world class training and research conducted within the Universities in Australia.
If you wish to donate your body to medical research, you will have have to be registered and considered for acceptance by a University Body Donation Program before death occurs. An Annual Memorial and Dedication Service is usually organised by the University, to pay tribute to all those who have bequeathed their bodies to medical science.
Unfortunately, not everyone is suitable for body donation, and registration with a program does not guarantee acceptance. If it is the case that the program is unable to accept you, your family will need to make arrangements with a funeral director.