Organ and Tissue Authority

Study of family experiences of organ and tissue donation released

Article Date: 

Friday, June 28, 2019

The Organ and Tissue Authority today released the findings from Wave 3 of the National Donor Family Study. The study collects feedback from families on their experience with the organ and tissue donation process in Australia, from the initial donation conversations through to the follow up support provided.

Wave 3 of the study involved families who experienced the organ and tissue donation process in 2014 and 2015, with 290 family members choosing to participate.

“Of the donor families surveyed, 97 per cent felt that discussions about donation were handled sensitively and with compassion,” Lucinda Barry, CEO Organ and Tissue Authority said.

“Families said they were provided with enough information about organ donation and time to allow them to make an informed decision about donation.”

Donor family support services, medical staff and donation specialists in the DonateLife Network all benefit from this study including through improving the way families are approached and supported whilst making a decision about donation and their follow-up care.

“Feedback about the experiences of donor family members helps to inform and improve organ and tissue donation practices nationwide,” Lucinda Barry said.

“The results of this study help to ensure appropriate support continues to be provided to all donor families,”

“We sincerely thank each and every family member who volunteered to participate in this study and share their experience.” 

Organ and tissue donation also helped families in their grief and provided meaning to their loss. Results show 92 per cent of the donor families found comfort in their loved ones’ donation.

The Donor Family Study also shows the importance of talking about donation with your next of kin. Families that knew the wishes of their loved one found the decision much easier than those who didn’t know.

“We encourage all Australians to register to be an organ and tissue donor, and to talk about it with their family and friends,” Lucinda Barry said.

“Becoming an organ donor is one of the most generous acts a person and their families can do – giving the gift of life to a person who is likely to die without a transplant.” 

The Organ and Tissue Authority acknowledges all donors and their families who generously consented to organ or tissue donation. The study can be found on our National Donor Family Study page.

Media contact
Organ and Tissue Authority:  Jayne Simpson, (02) 6198 9865 or 0403 058 662