Introduction

what is Sharelife?

ShareLife Australia is dedicated to ensuring Australia’s organ donation for transplantation rate is comparable or better than the countries with the highest rates. The motivation for this is simple: to save or greatly improve the lives of thousands of Australians.

Get the facts

The rate of organ donation and transplantation in Australia is low compared to other countries, we rank 16th in the world. We are behind countries such as Croatia, Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Doubling the number of transplant recipients per year and help an extra 1,100 Australians who are waiting for transplants.

The issue we face in Australia is that a solution to improving the number of organs available for transplant is available, but has not been correctly implemented.

Over 12,000 Australian’s suffer each year while they are on transplant waiting lists or dialysis.

If the Australian organ donation system performed as well as the best countries in the world, given our population size there should have been 900 donors in 2021 equivalent to 35 donors per million population (dpmp).

In 2021 there were only 421 Deceased Organ Donors in Australia.

Fact vs. Myth

Myths around organ donation

Myth

If Australia moved to an opt-out system to organ donation that would resolve our issues.

Myth

We simply need more people to discuss their intentions regarding organ donation with their families and then our donation rate will increase.

Myth

Australia’s organ donation rate is at an acceptable level.

Fact

There is no documented evidence that demonstrates that an opt-out system would increase organ donation.

On the contrary, some countries that have introduced opt-out system legislation observed an immediate decrease in their organ donation rates. There are currently many countries with such legislation and very low deceased donation rates.

Fact

Although discussion with family about personal wishes regarding organ donation can help when a family is approached about organ donation, such discussions can be futile unless there is an effective donation system in place within the hospital.

International experience has shown that to achieve leading donation rates, a fully effective hospital-based organ donation system is required; including measures to ensure all potential donors are being identified, and families are being approached by specialist organ donation staff.

Without these and other crucial elements of the leading practice system, family discussions cannot raise the donation rate to the levels Australia deserves.

Fact

$151 million was allocated by the Australian Government in 2008 with the specific goal of Australia becoming a world leader in organ donation for transplantation within 4 years.

By all indications, this amount is more than any other country has allocated to successfully implement the same reform program.

Other countries have succeeded in achieving sharp rises in transplantation rates, while Australia has risen slowly from its low base of 12.1 dpmp in 2008 to 16.1 dpmp in 2014.

In world rankings, Australia was ranked 20th in 2013 with 16.9 dpmp and is likely to be ranked even lower in 2014, because leading practice has not been implemented.

Fact

There is no documented evidence that demonstrates that an opt-out system would increase organ donation.

Read more

Fact

Although discussion with family about personal wishes regarding organ donation can help when a family is approached about organ donation, such discussions can be futile unless there is an effective donation system in place within the hospital.

Read more

Fact

$151 million was allocated by the Australian Government in 2008 with the specific goal of Australia becoming a world leader in organ donation for transplantation within 4 years.

Read more

Myth

If Australia moved to an opt-out system to organ donation that would resolve our issues.

Fact

There is no documented evidence that demonstrates that an opt-out system would increase organ donation.

On the contrary, some countries that have introduced opt-out system legislation observed an immediate decrease in their organ donation rates. There are currently many countries with such legislation and very low deceased donation rates.

Myth

We simply need more people to discuss their intentions regarding organ donation with their families and then our donation rate will increase.

Fact

Although discussion with family about personal wishes regarding organ donation can help when a family is approached about organ donation, such discussions can be futile unless there is an effective donation system in place within the hospital.

International experience has shown that to achieve leading donation rates, a fully effective hospital-based organ donation system is required; including measures to ensure all potential donors are being identified, and families are being approached by specialist organ donation staff.

Without these and other crucial elements of the leading practice system, family discussions cannot raise the donation rate to the levels Australia deserves.

Myth

Australia’s organ donation rate is at an acceptable level.

Fact

$151 million was allocated by the Australian Government in 2008 with the specific goal of Australia becoming a world leader in organ donation for transplantation within 4 years.

By all indications, this amount is more than any other country has allocated to successfully implement the same reform program.

Other countries have succeeded in achieving sharp rises in transplantation rates, while Australia has risen slowly from its low base of 12.1 dpmp in 2008 to 16.1 dpmp in 2014.

In world rankings, Australia was ranked 20th in 2013 with 16.9 dpmp and is likely to be ranked even lower in 2014, because leading practice has not been implemented.

Learn more about ShareLife