When I got my driver licence there was no question in my mind that I’d be happy to give any of my organs for donation in the event of my death — you can sign up for the NSW organ donor register when you apply for a licence, or specify which organs you would be happy to give. There was no question because, heck, you can’t take them with you!
Organ transplants can give not only the recipients of the donation a new lease on life, but also their carers, friends and other loved ones (maybe even their pets!).
The donation situation in Australia is pretty sad; donation rates are very low. You can opt to donate in your home state on your licence, but relatives have complete power of veto if the moment ever comes. Also many people don’t know that you need to register your wish to donate on the national register to donate country-wide, but again family can choose not to donate your organs when the time comes. So you really need to talk to your family and friends and ask them to respect your wishes regarding donation.
If you don’t have a deeply religious need to hold onto your organs after your death please register AND talk to your loved ones about it. They need to know your wishes so they are not burdened with the decision in a time of grief.
To hear a bit about living with chronic illness and waiting for a transplant please listen to this short interview with Jennifer Symonds.