Australian Organ Donor Register
The Australian Organ Donor Register (AODR) is an Australian government register, recording individuals who have agreed to donate organs and tissues in the event of their death. The register is administered by Medicare Australia.
The register is a record of consent for legal purposes. Authorized medical personnel may access the register to see what an individual chose, but the family is also consulted. The AODR has no part in the actual transplant process, nor does it maintain lists of prospective recipients.
The deceased's family is also told what the register says and they're asked if he or she had changed their mind, or if the family has sincerely held objections to donation. Potential donors are encouraged to discuss their decision with their family to ensure their wishes are known to them.
An individual may consent to the use of all organs and tissues, or just some (if someone has strong views about particular body parts for instance). The consent is entirely voluntary and may be changed or withdrawn at any time. The register is only for organ donation, it doesn't cover other uses for organs such as scientific research.
An individual must be 18 years or older to give their consent, but 16- and 17-year-olds may record an intention to donate. When only an intention is recorded the family will be asked to give consent in the event of death.
The AODR established in 2000 as a record of intentions, using data from state-based driver's licences. Driver's licences had for many years included a box to tick for those who intended to donate their organs. Since this was only an intention it was the deceased's family who were required to give consent.
From 1 July 2005 the AODR has allowed a legal consent to be recorded. Existing registered donors (whether from their driver's licence or separately) were asked to re-register when this was introduced, giving consent rather than just indicating an intention.
Driver's licences now no longer include an organ donation question, instead the licensing authorities offer the AODR forms when a license is issued or renewed.
In February 2006 an organ register section was added to the Medicare rebate claim form and the organ donation campaign extended to Centrelink offices. About 5 million people had registered at that time and the hope was that it could be further increased.
- Australian Social Trends 2002: Health - Health Related Actions: Organ donation by the Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Medicare claim form PC-11 (6697.12.01.06) at Medicare Australia
- New Medicare Claim Form Calls for Donors press release by Minister for Human Services Joe Hockey, 19 February 2006