During Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week, the AMA is urging Australians who want to be organ donors to make their intent clear by registering as a donor and talking to their family about their wishes.
AMA President, Dr Rosanna Capolingua, said today one of the most common reasons a potential organ donor is lost is because their family didn't know their loved one wanted to donate their organs or tissue.
Advertisement"It's important to talk to family members about organ and tissue donation," Dr Capolingua said.
"Families can still provide consent to donate for people who haven't registered on the Australian Organ Donor Register.
"But if a potential donor hasn't registered and their family is not aware they want to be an organ donor, the family might refuse to donate the organs and tissue."
Dr Capolingua said Australia's organ donation rates are too low and fall well short of meeting demand.
"As of January this year, there were 1,875 people waiting for organ transplants. Many of them will have to wait up to three years."
In Australia, there are currently only 9.8 organ donors per million population.
Dr Capolingua said every new organ donor can make a difference.
"Up to ten people can receive organs and tissue from just one donor. That's ten lives that benefit because of just one person.
"Organ donation can also help reduce the financial burden on our health system. Organ transplants are far more cost effective than other forms of treatment in the long term."