When a person dies in a situation where they can become an organ and/or tissue donor, the possibility of donation is raised with the family.
The Australian Organ Donor Register is checked to find out whether the deceased person had registered their wishes regarding organ and tissue donation. A donation specialist will meet with the family to talk about donation.
The family of a potential donor is given time to discuss and finalise the decision of whether donation will occur. If donation is agreed, documentation will confirm the donation and which organs and tissues are being donated.
All states and territories have legal processes following family consent whereby a designated officer not involved in the clinical management of a potential donor must give authority for donation to proceed. This part of the process may also involve the state coroner if the circumstances of the potential donor's death are to be investigated by the coroner.
During and after the process, the donor's family are supported by DonateLife organ and tissue donation specialist staff.
It is important to remember that in Australia the family will always be asked to confirm the donation wishes of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed. That is why it is important that your family members know your donation decision and that you know their wishes.