DonateLife Week is officially underway, aiming to raise awareness and registrations for organ and tissue donors. The Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, urged Australians to not only register but also ignite conversation within the community.
“With more than 1,400 Australians on the waitlist for a lifesaving transplant at any one time and a further 11,000 on dialysis, I’m urging people to get online this week and sign up. It’s important that we get as many people as possible to consider the benefits and understand that by registering, they may one day give the gift of life to a fellow Australian.”
Donors also need to make their wishes known to family and friends, as it will be those close to you who give the final consent for your organs and tissue to be donated once you have passed. It takes less than a minute to register at donatelife.gov.au, all you need is your Medicare number. To mark the week-long awareness campaign, national landmarks including the Sydney Opera House are being lit-up magenta – the colour synonymous with DonateLife Week.
“These lives can only be saved if selfless Australians continue to donate, and during DonateLife Week we thank all donors and their families who generously consented to organ or tissue donation. We also celebrate those whose lives have been transformed through a transplant, and send hope to the waitlisted and future recipients,” Mr Coulton noted.
Organ and Tissue Authority CEO Lucinda Barry said while the majority of Australians support organ donation, only one in three are registered.
“It’s not that people don’t want to be donors, the majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation. Generally those who are not registered do want to but haven’t got around to it yet, or are willing to donate but are unsure how to do it. If every registered donor found one person this week who wasn’t and encouraged them to, we could double the number of people on the register who could one day become donors,” Ms Barry said.
- Approximately 1,400 Australians are currently waitlisted for a transplant. A further 11,000 are on dialysis, many of whom would benefit from a kidney transplant.
- The majority of Australians (69%) are willing to donate their organs and/or tissue when they die.
- While the majority of Australians (71%) think it’s important to talk with their family/partner, only half (51%) of Australians have actually discussed whether they want to be a donor.
- Of the 36% of Australians who feel confident they know if their loved ones are willing to be a donor, 93% say they would uphold their wishes.
To sign up to be a donor, or for more information, visit: https://donatelife.gov.au/