Monday, September 21, 2009

Boost for transplants as donors hit wall

PSnews - Australia

A wall of support has been erected by the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplant Authority as a way of promoting awareness and increasing public confidence in organ and tissue donation.

The National Communications Charter Signatories Wall has attracted 47 signatories, including the Commonwealth, State and Territory governments as well as agencies and community organisations and was unveiled by the Authority at its offices in Canberra.

Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Mark Butler said although Australia was a world leader in transplantation outcomes, organ and tissue donations were low by global standards.

There are around 1800 Australians on the official waiting list at any one time, with on average 200 organ donors each year.

“Every donation is important,” Mr Butler said.

“This sector has over 70 stakeholders and we cannot afford to lose potential donations through public confusion arising from a fragmented approach.

“We know that while the majority of Australians support organ and tissue donation, many families do not discuss this in any depth.

“Yet we also know that when people face the decision about donating a family member's organs they want to be sure of that person's wishes.”|

Mr Butler said Charter signatories were working to increase family consent and organ donation rates for transplantation by promoting nationally consistent, evidence-based messages.

Chief Executive of the Authority, Karen Murphy said the key messages were ‘discover, decide and discuss’.

“Our shared goal is to enable Australians to discover the facts on organ and tissue donation, to make informed choices to decide to become donors and to discuss as a family to confidently know each other's wishes in relation to organ and tissue donation," Ms Murphy said.

She said more information was available at

“You Have the Power to Save Lives – Sign Your Donor Card & Tell Your Loved Ones of Your Decision”

Register to be a donor in Ontario or Download Donor Cards from Trillium Gift of Life Network. NEW for Ontario: - Learn The Ins & Outs Of Organ And Tissue Donation. Register Today! For other Canadian provinces click here

In the United States, be sure to find out how to register in your state at or Download Donor Cards from OrganDonor.Gov

In Great Britain, register at NHS Organ Donor Register

In Australia, register at Australian Organ Donor Register

Your generosity can save up to eight lives with heart, kidneys, liver, lungs, pancreas and small intestine transplants. One tissue donor can help up to 100 other people by donating skin, corneas, bone, tendon, ligaments and heart valves

Has your life been saved by an organ transplant? "Pay it forward" and help spread the word about the need for organ donation - In the U.S. another person is added to the national transplant waiting list every 11 minutes and 18 people die each day waiting for an organ transplant.

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