Donate life LogoI was reminded by Ally over at her blog everyday miracles that it's Donate Life week – an initiative by the Australian Government to promote awareness of and (hopefully) increase the number of people willing to donate their organs. Organ donation in Australia is low. In fact, Australia has one of the lowest donation rates in the developed world.

I have always rationally believed in organ donation … although I admit to finding the subject a little disturbing at first. I found that if I turned it around… if I thought about how I would feel if someone had donated to me and given me what amounts to a most precious gift … then signing up for my card would be a lot less disturbing. So that's what I did. I figured if I'm not around to require it any more then someone else would be free to use it. I signed up, I had my discussion with my family who thankfully agree with donation and are (for the most part) organ donors too.

Some facts about organ donation in Australia (from the donate life website)

  • One organ, eye and tissue donor can save or enhance the lives of 10 or more people.
  • Australia is a world leader for successful transplant outcomes, yet has one of the lowest donation rates in the developed world.
  • Around 1600 people are on Australian organ transplant waiting lists.
  • On average, people on the transplant list can wait between 6 months and 4 years. 4 years!

With a majority of Australians generally willing to become organ donors it is vitally important that people willing to donate their organs have a memorable discussion with their family about their wishes. In Australia, the family will always be asked to confirm the donation wishes of the deceased before donation for transplantation can proceed. Less than 60% of Australian families give consent so it's again vital that your discussions are had and that they are memorable.

I carry my card, my family knows.

Organ donor? I have decided. Have you?

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