This Sunday’s DonateLife Thank You Day is a magnificent opportunity for all Australians to honour organ and tissue donors and their families and thank them for their gift of life.
The latest official figures show there have been 354 Australian deceased organ donors in the first ten months of this year, an increase of 11 per cent on the same time last year.
This is easily the highest ten month total on record for Australia, and is up by two thirds for the ten month total in 2009, the year Labor established DonateLife to boost organ donations.
A record 1009 people benefited from these donations, up 7.5 per cent on 2014, and 47 per cent on 2009, in many cases providing the recipients with an increased quality of life, or the gift of life itself.
This year’s strong rise is a tribute to the work of DonateLife, and hospitals around the country to drive up Australia’s organ donation rates.
It is also a tribute to those Australian families who respected the wish of their loved ones and amidst their grief, agreed to help their tragedy become a selfless gift that has provided life, or a better quality of life, to other families.
DonateLife Thank You Day is also a chance for us to recognise that despite the great work of recent years, more still needs to be done to improve organ donation rates in Australia.
At any one time in Australia there are 1600 people in need of an organ donation and the single most crucial factor in overcoming that waiting list is The Conversation.
A person’s wishes are much more likely to be recognised when they understand and have discussed organ and tissue donation with those close to them.
But sadly, across Australia, too many families still have no idea that their loved ones wish to be organ and tissue donors, and are therefore not equipped to cope with making this decision at such a terrible time.
Have the conversation now. Ask and know your loved ones’ wishes and leave your family in no doubt about your decision to be an organ and tissue donor.
Labor encourages all Australians to take part in DonateLife Thank You Day by registering as an organ and tissue donor at the DonateLife website and most importantly of all, by telling your loved ones about your decision to be an organ donor.