1What happens when I die if no one can get in touch with your immediate family?
Should you die unexpectedly, the hospital you go to will make every effort possible to get in touch with your family, and they may involve the police as well. If they exhaust all options and can't reach your family, they'll designate a police officer to try and get in touch with your acquaintances or friends. They'll check the Australian Organ Donor Register as well, and the officer will give the medical team their recommendations.
2How old do I have to be to register as an organ donor?
For full registration to be an organ donor, you must be over 18 years of age. However, you can register with the Australian Organ Donor Register when you turn 16 years old with an "intent to be an organ and tissue donor." Also, parents can't register their children. However, they can give permission to donate their organs if they pass away.
3Can your family change their mind about donating your organs?
Yes. It is possible for your family to change their minds and rescind the organ donation agreement you signed. They have until the point that the staff take you into the operating room to make their decision.
4What is a living donation, and how does it differ from a traditional donation?
Unlike traditional organ donation where the donor is deceased, you can donate a part of your organ when you live. You can donate part of your liver, bone or your kidney without any problems. After the surgery, you'll go back to your day to day routine.
5What is the average wait time to get an organ transplant?
The wait time to match with a suitable donor ranges from six months up to four years. Some people may have to wait longer. However, health usually deteriorates the longer someone has to wait for an organ donation. The sooner someone gets a donated organ, the better their chances become.
6Is it up to my family to pay for the cost of donating?
No. Your family will not have to pay for the surgery or hospital expenses to donate your organs. Your family will be responsible for hospital costs before your death is formally certified, and donation takes place. They're also responsible for the funeral costs.
7Will my family find out information about the organ recipient?
No. By law, physicians cannot release information about the person who received the organs. They may discuss a limited amount of details with the family, but no large identifying details like names will come up. However, you can request to get updates through your local DonateLife agency. You're also able to write anonymous letters to each other through the hospital or transplant agency.