Have the Chat that Saves Lives: Discover, Decide and Discuss Organ and Tissue Donation

Have the Chat that Saves Lives: Discover, Decide and Discuss Organ and Tissue Donation
Northern NSW Local Health District is supporting DonateLife Week, Australia’s national awareness week to promote organ and tissue donation.

From Sunday 23 February to Sunday 2 March 2014, Australians are being urged to discover the facts about organ and tissue donation and to register their donation decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register. Most importantly, we are asking everyone to ‘have the chat’ with loved ones to make sure their donation decision is known.

Donation Specialist Dr Mike Lindley-Jones said, “In the same way that we discuss what we want to have happen in the event of our death, we also need to talk about whether we would like to become an organ and tissue donor. It’s a conversation we can have today, that helps prepare our loved ones should they be offered the opportunity to proceed with organ and tissue donation.”

“With one organ and tissue donor able to transform the lives of 10 or more people, it’s a conversation that could one day save lives,” said Dr Lindley-Jones
In Australia, the family will always be asked to confirm the donation decision of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed. Families that have discussed and know each other’s donation decisions are much more likely to support organ and tissue donation proceeding.

Dr Lindley Jones said, “Even if you have previously made a decision about organ and tissue donation, DonateLife Week is a great opportunity to remind your family about your donation decision, and to ask and know their decision. Any day this week is a good day to have the chat with your family and close friends.”

To encourage family discussions within the Tweed Valley a street banner with the DonateLife message has been erected in Warf St, Tweed Heads for the duration of DonateLife week.

Less than one per cent of all hospital deaths occur in the specific circumstances where a person can be considered for organ donation, although many more have the potential to become tissue donors. To optimise every opportunity for potential donation, have the chat that saves lives this DonateLife Week.

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