Improving Australia's Organ Donation Rate: Ethical and Practical Issues


Australia is arguably a world leader in achieving successful organ transplant outcomes. While donation rates are continually improving as a result of reform measures introduced since 2009, there remains potential for further growth. In Australia, as with all developed countries, there continues to be insufficient donated organs to meet the need of those who might benefit from transplantation.

In this module, panel members discuss ways Australia can ethically and practically improve organ donation rates and debate more controversial proposals relevant to deceased donation and living donation including:

  • introducing an 'opt out' (presumed consent) system of organ donation
  • upholding donation decisions by removing the 'family veto', so that a deceased individual's registered consent cannot be overruled by their family members
  • establishing financial incentives to become a donor such as:
    • reimbursing the deceased donor's funeral expenses
    • contributing to a charitable organisation determined by the donor or their family
  • allowing non-financial incentives to become a donor, such as giving priority on transplant waiting lists to individuals willing to become organ donors
  • for living donors, providing donors with income tax benefits or other similar benefits

The panel session was a facilitated Q&A format, where panel members responded to questions related to how Australia can ethically and practically raise organ donation rates. During the session, delegates had the opportunity to ask questions of panel members.

2 hours Online Learning

ACRRM 2 hours


Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify practical ways policies can be changed to increase the rate of organ donation in Australia
  2. Identify the ethical arguments for and against the more controversial proposals to raise organ donation rates
  3. Recognise what individual practitioners can do to increase awareness of organ donation within the community


Ethics, health care, patient, safety, legal, policy, awareness, increase 

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Australian Medical Association
Online Education
2h : 0m
MBA: 2h : 0m
ACRRM - Fellow: 2h : 0m
ACRRM - Non Fellow: 2h : 0m
$44.00 inc. of GST
Ethics and Professionalism
Medical Practitioner, Medical Student, Doctor-in-Training, Non-Vocationally Registered, Nurse / Midwife, Paramedic, Practice Manager, Psychologist, Retired, Specialist - Other, Specialist General Practitioner

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