Australian Organ Donor Register
Recording your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register is voluntary and you have complete choice over which organs or tissue you wish to donate. You must be 16 years or older to register.
The Donor Register lets authorised medical staff who have permission from the Australian Government, check your donation decision anywhere in Australia, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They can then give that information to your family if you die.
Family consent is always needed before donation can go ahead, so remember to discuss your decision with your family and those close to you.
You need to know
Transplants save lives
For people with serious or life-threatening illnesses, an organ and/or tissue transplant could mean a second chance at life. Around 1,700 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists at any one time.
By choosing to record your donation decision on the Donor Register, you could save the lives of up to 10 people and improve the lives of dozens more.
Registration is voluntary
Recording your donation decision on the Donor Register is voluntary and you have complete choice over which organs and/or tissue you wish to donate.
Donation can involve:
- organs—including kidneys, heart, lungs, liver and pancreas
- tissue—including heart valves, bone tissue, skin and eye tissue
Discuss your decision with family
While the Donor Register is an easy way to record your donation decision, it’s important to discuss your decision with your family or those close to you, because they will be asked to give consent if you die.
Your family or those close to you will be asked to confirm you had not changed your mind since you recorded your donation decision on the Donor Register. Families that know each other’s donation decisions are more likely to follow them.
You can share your decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor with the people close to you by sending them Your DonateLife Message.
This is the only national register
The Donor Register is the only national register for organ and/or tissue donation for transplantation after death.
Even if you have already recorded your donation wishes somewhere else—for example, by ticking a box on a driver licence renewal—it is important you update your details by registering your decision on the Donor Register.
Almost anyone can donate
Almost anyone can donate organs and/or tissue—there is no age limit on the donation of some organs and tissue. While your age and medical history will be considered, you shouldn’t assume you’re too young, too old or not healthy enough to become a donor.
Donation after death
Where and how a person dies, and the condition of their organs and tissue, determines if they can donate. A person may be able to donate organs when they have been declared brain dead in an intensive care unit in hospital.
The donation procedure is straightforward
Removing organs and tissue is no different from any other surgical operation, and is performed by highly skilled health professionals. The donor’s body is always treated with dignity and respect. Donating organs and/or tissue does not change the body’s physical appearance, and it does not affect funeral arrangements.
The Donor Register is not for recording decisions about donating organs and/or tissue for scientific research.
Your personal information is safe
Only authorised medical staff who have permission from the Australian Government, have access to information recorded on the Donor Register.
These authorised staff have signed confidentiality agreements about their access to and use of information recorded in the Donor Register.
How to register
- Download a New registration, change or removal of details form
- Visit your local DHS Service Centre and pick up a brochure that includes a registration form
- Call 1800 777 203 to register on the phone or ask for a registration form to be posted to you
It helps if you tell us your Medicare card number
It’s not compulsory to link your donor registration to your Medicare record but we ask your permission to do this because it will help keep your details up-to-date. It will also help to identify your record if you are ever considered as an organ donor in the future.
Collecting information on the Donor Register is authorised by the Medicare Australia Act 1973.
This information may be given to authorised medical staff approved by the Australian Government, or where authorised or required by law.
The DonateLife website gives you the facts about organ and tissue donation and lets you send a personalised message to people close to you about your decision to become an organ and/or tissue donor.