1 August 2017

Becoming organ donor could be life-saving decision

| Ian Bushnell
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Canberrans are being urged this week to make a decision that could save a life.

DonateLife Week 2017 – Make your decision count highlights the importance of registering with Australian Organ Donor Register and letting your family and loved ones know that you wish to be an organ donor.

Minister for Health and Wellbeing, Meegan Fitzharris said that already this year 17 people had received lifesaving organ transplants, thanks to the generosity of eight ACT organ donors and their families.

She said organ and tissue donation remained a priority for the ACT Government, with funding in the latest Budget to promote donations and registrations.

“The ACT continues to make good progress in our organ and tissue donation rates,” Ms Fitzharris said. “In 2016, the ACT recorded the highest donation rate in Australia but there is still much more we can do to increase awareness and registrations.”

She said organ donation was rare in Australia with only one per cent of people who die in specific circumstances approved to donate.

However, many more people can be tissue donors, who also play a significant role in saving lives.

“We know that families who have discussed organ and tissue donation in advance are 88 per cent more likely to say ‘yes’ to donation when asked,” Ms Fitzharris said.

“Through the efforts of DonateLife ACT we have achieved life-changing donation outcomes for many Canberrans as well as people living in other areas of Australia.”

Activities to mark DonateLife Week 2017 across Canberra:

  • The National Carillon, Kings Avenue Bridge and Telstra Tower will be illuminated in the DonateLife national colour (magenta)
  • Trees across Canberra will be transformed into “Trees of Life” with leaves sprouting stories from local donor and recipients families
  • DonateLife ACT is partnering with the Greater Western Sydney Giants AFL team and will be handing out information and donor registration forms at the upcoming game on Saturday 5 August
  • Videos involving local donor and recipients families will be shared in social media using the hashtags #DonateLife and #makeitcount
  • The DonateLife ACT team will be donating blood mid-week at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, with local supporters encouraged to also participate in giving blood.

Other local events including thanksgiving, promotion, education and information sessions will take place in various workplaces, shopping centres and in Canberra’s two public hospitals.

To learn more about organ and tissue donation, phone DonateLife ACT on 6174 5625 or visit www.donatelife.gov.au.

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