If you ever bring up organ donation in conversation, chances are most people will be all for it and believe it's an important thing to do. But when it comes to actually registering, it's a different story.
According to figures from DonateLife, four in five Australians support donation, yet there are around 13 million Australians aged over 16 who are eligible to register as organ and tissue donors but haven't. DonateLife CEO Lucinda Barry said these stats were a matter of life or death for the approximately 1750 Australians on the organ transplant waitlist.
"There are also about 12,000 people on dialysis who may benefit from a kidney transplant - and many more Australians whose quality of life would be greatly improved by an eye or tissue transplant," she said. "That's why it's so important that more people register as organ and tissue donors."
DonateLife runs the Great Registration Race during July and August, encouraging more Australians to register, with a big push during DonateLife Week from July 24-31. "If one person a minute during July and August registers, we'll hit our goal of 100,000 more Australians as registered organ and tissue donors," Barry said.
In Australia, most donors are deceased, although people can become living donors, and organ and tissue donation save many lives every year. Since the national program began in 2009, more than 15,500 people have received life-saving organ transplants from 5450 deceased organ donors. "Just one organ donor can save up to seven lives and help many more through eye and tissue donation," Barry said.
Anyone aged 16 years or over can register as a donor, no matter their medical history, lifestyle, country they're from, or how healthy they are. Registering is simple; it only takes one minute to sign up at donatelife.gov.au, or it can be done in three clicks using the Medicare app. "It's also important to tell your family and friends that you have registered and that you want to be a donor because, in the event of your death, they will be asked to agree to you becoming a donor," Barry said.
Find out more by visiting donatelife.gov.au.
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