"Myth Busting" Misconceptions

Myth 1 – I am too old to donate?

You're never too old to be a donor. Anyone can donate organs and tissue. People in their eighties have saved the lives of much younger people. Transplant professionals decide which organs and tissues can be used at the time of death after looking at your past medical history, the condition of your organs and their suitability.

Myth 2 - Organ Donation is against my religion?

Most religions support organ and tissue donation as generous acts that benefit people. This includes Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism and Judaism. If you are not sure whether your religion is supportive, speak to your religious adviser

Download our fact sheet on Donation and religion – click here Download a Fact Sheet


Myth 3 - If I lived in the UK during “mad cow disease”  I cannot be an organ donor

Unlike blood donation, this does not necessarily eliminate you from being a donor. You may still be able to donate your organs but not your tissues.


Myth 4 - Im too unhealthy to be a donor – I drink, I smoke, Im overweight….

You can still be a donor even if you drink or smoke, are overweight or have a chronic condition. There's every chance that some of your organs and tissues will be suitable for donation. Only some medical conditions may prevent you from being a donor, such as transmissible diseases like HIV.


Myth 5 - I’m concerned Doctors won’t try as hard to save my life if I am a donor

Not so. Medical staff  will do everything possible to save lives. Their first duty is to you and saving your life. Organ and tissue donation will only be considered after all efforts fail and you have been legally declared dead. Usually, the Australian Organ Donor Register is only checked after you have died.

Myth 6 - People only need organs because of bad lifestyle choices

Many people have an inherited genetic condition, a severe illness or disease that will kill them, often at a young age. Common genetic conditions are cardiomyopathy (which affects the heart), cystic fibrosis (the lungs) and biliary atresia (the liver). Corneal transplants restore sight to people following a disease or damage to their eyes. Heart valves are often used to repair congenital defects in young children and replace defective valves due to disease such as rheumatic fever, degeneration and infection