Act Now to Make Your Organ and Tissue Donation Wish Count

Act Now to Make Your Organ and Tissue Donation Wish Count
Northern NSW Local Health District (NNSW LHD) supports DonateLife Week 2013, Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation by holding several events during the week.

Today in Lismore under the Organ and Tissue Banner in Carrington Street a young child, who has received a transplant highlights just how important the gift of life means after receiving a transplant.

Dr Mike Lindley Jones, NNSW LHD Medical Specialist said, “Many people aren’t aware that around 1% of hospital deaths occur in specific circumstances where a person can be considered for organ donation, although many more have the opportunity to become a tissue donor.”

When people become aware of this fact, the overwhelming majority (84%) are more motivated to decide they would like to become an organ and tissue donor.

“The rarity of the possibility of organ donation for transplantation is why every Australian needs to ensure their family members know their donation wishes, so that we can optimize every opportunity for Australians to have access to life-transforming transplants,” Dr Lindley-Jones said.

“To make every wish count, every Australian family needs to know each other’s wishes. This is because in Australia the family of every potential donor is always asked to confirm the donation wishes of their loved one before organ and/or tissue donation can proceed.

We are urging all Australians to take time during DonateLife Week to discover, decide and discuss organ and tissue donation so that your family can make your wish count should they ever be asked to confirm your donation wish,” Dr Lindley-Jones said.

Although 77% of Australians have now talked about organ and tissue donation with their family, and 71% of people believe that their family knows their donation wishes, only 56% of Australians say that they know the donation wishes of their loved ones. This highlights the need for all Australians to remind their family members’ about their donation wishes as well as to ask and know the wishes of family members.

“Any day this week is a good day to have the conversation with your family and close friends. It’s a conversation that will help you be prepared, should you ever be asked to confirm a loved one’s donation wishes. It will also help your family be prepared should they ever be asked to confirm your wishes. It’s a conversation that could one day save lives.”

“Some Australians find it difficult to bring up the subject of organ and tissue donation with family members. Deciding to have the discussion during DonateLife Week can help normalize the subject and make it OK to talk about”, said Dr Lindley-Jones.

DonateLife Week is Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation. It is led by the Organ and Tissue Authority as part of the national DonateLife campaign and supported by community events and activities across Australia.

For more information: www.donatelife.gov.au


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