The topic of organ donation is often a sensitive one, whether it be the fear of the unknown or the greater fear that we do not live forever, like death in general, it is a topic that is often avoided in Australian households.
Discussions surrounding organ donation have once again emerged in light of the changes the United Kingdom is making to its policy on organ donation. As of 2020, England will implement an ‘opt out’ system. This means that instead of registering to be an organ donor, every person will be a donor unless they register not to be. It is estimated that this will save the lives of up to 700 Brits per year.
Similar to the old English style, Australians can register their intention to become a donor through the Australian Organ Donation Register. This Register allows people to specify the way in which they want their organs donated and provides guidance to their families in the midst of tragedy. Ultimately, it is extremely important to have that sensitive discussion and voice your opinion on organ donation, as in the end, it will be the decision of your family. While it is possible for your family to trump your decision, 90% of families uphold a person’s decision to donate when they are registered.
It is common practice in our Estate Planning Department to discuss the options available surrounding organ donation and how to ensure a client’s wishes can be implemented.
It is necessary to register your intention on the Australian Organ Donation Register, as well as having a full and frank discussion with your loved ones as to your wishes. As difficult as the discussion is, the uncertainty when the time comes is far worse.
For more information please contact Krystle Wolthers in our Estate Planning Department on 02 4626 5077. You can also visit the Australian Organ Donor Register.
The contents of this publication are for reference purposes only. This publication does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Specific legal advice should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication