DonateLife Week raises awareness about organ and tissue donation

More than 11,000 Australian lives in the past 10 years have been saved thanks to the generosity of organ and tissue donors and their families.

The Minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, the Hon Mark Coulton MP, tonight launched DonateLife Week and urged Australians to register as organ and tissue donors.

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.”

Minister Mark Coulton

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.

Registering to become an organ and tissue donor has a direct influence on families saying yes to donation, with more than 90 per cent of families proceeding when their loved one was registered.

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 Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Town Hall and Story Bridge in Brisbane are being lit-up magenta, the colour synonymous with DonateLife Week, to shine a light on the issue.

“Don’t think that because you live in a regional area or a country town you’re not able to register to help save lives, it’s important that we get as many people as possible to sign up,” Minister Coulton said.

“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.”

In 2018, 1,782 lives were transformed due to the generosity of 554 deceased and 238 living organ donors and their families.

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.

We have made registration a quick and easy process. You can register online at donatelife.gov.au in one minute – all you need is your Medicare card.

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”

Lucinda Barry, CEO, Organ and Tissue Authority

DonateLife Week runs from Sunday 28 July to Sunday 4 August and is part of the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia.

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