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 http://www.donatelife.gov.au.
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