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Organ Donors Save Lives

Friday, June 1, 2012

Have you ever seriously considered becoming an organ or tissue donor? Despite the fact that organ/tissue donation saves many lives the world over, Australia’s rates of organ donation are among the lowest in the Western world. One of the biggest hurdles we face in our quest for more donors is a lack of communication.

To become a donor it is necessary to fill out the required registration forms but what most people don’t realise is that even once the paperwork has been completed, the family of the deceased still have the right to override their last wishes.

It is imperative to clearly articulate your wishes with family and loved ones. This needs to occur sooner than later as it becomes very difficult for our health professionals to approach this topic at the time of a loved one’s passing. As a direct result, opportunities to ease suffering and save lives are lost.

I raised the topic of organ and tissue donation in the Senate recently, in the hope that we can increase both awareness and to also raise the number of registered organ and tissue donors in Australia. A copy of that speech is attached and I hope you can spare some time to read it and consider how this issue will affect yourself, and your family and friends.

We have the capacity to ease chronic suffering and save lives. To not take full advantage of the benefits of organ/tissue donation is causing many people unnecessary suffering or premature death. There are currently over 1500 Australians on waiting lists, many of whom will die waiting for a donor.

So I urge you to sit down with those closest to you and have this difficult discussion. Only through communication can we recruit more donors to help in reducing chronic disease and untimely death.

The Last Race

Organ donation is a sensitive topic that often descends on families during a time of great sorrow brought about by the passing of a loved one. Decisions made at this time can be very hard to reach and often leave you wondering if the path you have chosen is the right one for you and your family.

“The Last Race” is a compelling 30 minute television drama that looks at a family that is forced to make some very tough decisions while dealing with their own pain. The Last Race first aired on ABC television on 26th February at 6:30 pm, and was made with financial assistance from the Australian Government. The Last Race will be available to hospitals, schools and community groups as part of an online educational resource and I urge anyone dealing with the traumas of organ donation to take time out to watch it online at: The Last Race

 

Or to learn more about organ donation log on to:  www.donatelife.gov.au

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