Organ and Tissue Authority

2020 consent rates


of families consented to donation when asked in a hospital setting in 2020

  • In Australia, families of potential donors are always asked to consent to their family member becoming a donor.
  • Our national consent rate dropped to 58 per cent in 2020 meaning less people said “yes” to donation.
  • There is no doubt that the COVID-19 restrictions in hospitals contributed to this decrease. Even in such challenging circumstances, families were still motivated to donate and help others through donation.
  • Increasing the number of families saying ‘yes’ to donation is critical to further growth in donation.

Consented donors

  • In 2020, 680 families agreed to donation (a national consent rate of 58%*2).
  • Of the consented donors, 463 proceeded to donation. The remaining 217 were unable to donate their organs mainly due to medical or logistical reasons.

Consent rates by jurisdiction

  1. Clinical practices, demographics and case mix can impact state and territory consent rates.
  2. The 2020 consent rate is not directly comparable to the previously published 2019 consent rate. The consent rate for 2019 (and earlier) was calculated across cases where the patient was assessed as suitable to be a donor. The 2020 consent rate is for all donation requests, including cases where the patient was subsequently excluded due to medical suitability.

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