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MEDIA STATEMENT | Transplant Australia welcomes updated organ donor register

Transplant Australia today encouraged all Australians to consider the lives of the 1,400 people waiting for an urgent lifesaving transplant and register as an organ and tissue donor.

To mark the commencement of DonateLife Week (Sunday, July 30 to August 6), Transplant Australia welcomed the introduction of a new simplified registration process which gives Australians the opportunity to sign up in less than a minute.

Transplant Australia Chairman, Jason Ryan, said the new online portal to the Australian Organ Donor Register was largely the result of Transplant Australia’s advocacy work over the past three years.

“Across the world governments recognise the value of a person registering the decision to become an organ and tissue donor. We know here in Australia that more than 90 per cent of families respect that decision by their loved one,” Mr Ryan said.

“Without that registration or a conversation about donation that consent rate by families drops to just 50 per cent. Our goal is to simply get as many Australians to register as donors as it significantly increases the consent rate if they become eligible donors.”

Brad Stanley was the youngest male athlete to represent Australia at the 2017 World Transplant Games in Malaga.

Mr Ryan said Transplant Australia’s objective was to lift the number of adult Australians registered as organ donors from the current 33 per cent to in excess of 50 per cent.

“The percentage of people willing to become a donor is more than double the number of people who have taken the time to register.”

Transplant Australia is pleased to see that the Federal Government, through the Aged Care Minister and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt, recognised the need to simplify access to the Australian Organ Donor Register.

“All Australians can now visit donatelife.gov.au and sign up in less than a minute,” Mr Ryan said. “This is a great advance on the previous technology and paper-based systems which required a physical signature.

“In the United Kingdom and the United States they have recognised for a number of years the respect families show for their loved one’s decision when they learned they had taken the time to register as a donor.

“Registering is the clearest message you can give that you wish to leave a legacy of saving other lives through donation.”

Transplant Australia is pleased that more Australians are heeding this message. In 2016 a record total of 503 Australians donated their organs saving the lives of 1,447 Australians. Australia’s rate of donation has doubled in the last eight years demonstrating the value of a new program to improve donation. Transplant Australia has been a strong advocate for this program over many years.

For more information please contact:

Jessica Younan

National Communications Manager

Transplant Australia Ltd

M: 0401 206 402

E | [email protected]

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