Becoming an organ and tissue donor

Almost anyone can donate organs and tissue. Find out how to register your decision to donate after death, and read about support for living donors.

Who can donate organs and tissue?

Almost everyone can donate organs and tissue. While age and medical history will be considered, don’t assume you are too young, old or unhealthy to become a donor.

You need to be aged 18 years or over to legally record your consent on the Australian Organ Donor Register. People aged 16 or 17 years can register their interest.

The most important thing is to register and talk to your family about your decision to donate.

Registering to donate

To make a difference, you can be a living donor or register your decision to be an organ or tissue donor after you die.

The Australian Organ Donor Register is the only place to record your decision about becoming an organ and tissue donor for transplantation after death.

You cannot record decisions about donating organ and tissue for scientific research purposes or to manufacture biological medical products.

Being a living donor

A living organ donor is someone who donates a kidney or partial liver to another person who has end-stage kidney disease or liver failure. That person is usually a relative or close friend.

If you have been assessed as a suitable live donor, you may be eligible for the Supporting Living Organ Donors Program. The program helps with the financial stress of recovering from donating an organ.

Help with making a decision to donate

DonateLife has more information on:

  • what you can donate
  • who can donate
  • the donation process

The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) has resources on ethics and making a decision on being a living or deceased donor.

Australian Organ Donor Register

Register your decision to be an organ or tissue donor after you die to save the lives of other people. Call the register from Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm.

View contact

Last updated: 
27 May 2020

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