This week is Organ Donor Awareness Week (21- 28th February)
This Organ Donor Awareness Week we are being asked to take up the Organ Donor Challenge and Pass on the “Message” to just one other person, ‘Make sure your family know your wishes’, make a difference – and help save lives.
Encouraged by the increase in the number of organ donors in 2009, DonateLife believes we can make a big impact on organ and tissue donation, if we all start up a conversation of making your wishes known to your family and finding and finding out their wishes as well.
DonateLife Medical Director, Dr Jonathan Gillis said: “We want people to take up the organ donor challenge: to Discover the facts, Decide whether to donate and most importantly Discuss organ donation with your family. Visit www.donatelife.gov.au. If we all pass on the message – to make sure your family know your wishes – to just one friend or colleague we can help save more lives.
“Sixty-nine very generous families in NSW made a life transforming difference to 215 lives in NSW last year and we can improve this figure – nearly double it if we discuss organ donation with our family and know each other’s wishes.
“While organ and tissue donation is a personal choice, far too many families are placed under additional stress at the time of the death of a loved one because they do not know their wishes about donation.
“Prior family discussion can make the process a little easier on donor families because donation is more likely to proceed when families confidently know each other’s wishes.
“Many families tell us that at an often traumatic time in their lives, organ donation is a very positive experience – a legacy of life.
“To take up the challenge you can choose your favourite communication: tell a friend, telephone, fax, email facebook and twitter – just pass it on and we can all save lives”, said Dr Gillis.
Organ and tissue donation can change lives:
* Corneas can restore sight
* Kidney transplants can take people off regular dialysis and back to a normal life without regular hospital visits
* Pancreas transplants can cure type II diabetes
* Liver, Heart and Lung transplants save lives immediately
Transplantation means that a very sick person can return to a normal life and be an active member of the family again and return to work.
The most important thing is family discussion – even if you are registered as a donor, your family will always be asked to consent to donation. That is why we encourage all Australians to make sure their family knows their wishes and that you know your family member’s wishes.
You can register and update your decision on the Australian Organ Donor Register (Medicare) or in NSW you can also tick the box on your driver’s licence – either way you are registered!
“Pass on the organ donor message -‘Make sure your family know your wishes’ to just one person and you can help save lives in NSW – take up the challenge today and Pass it on!”, said Dr Gillis.
Find out more at Donate life