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Donor Heroes funeral expenses

With the 2022 OTA Numbers reported it is obvious there are some issues that need to be addressed in order to arrest the decline in Next of Kin Consent.

In 2021 Next of Kin Consent rates in Australia were at 56%. However in 2022 this fell dramatically to just 54%.

Fewer deceased donors resulting in fewer lifesaving transplants. We also experienced fewer people registering their donor intent.

A possible initiative to impact consent rates is a contribution of $5000 towards funeral expenses for all deceased organ donor’s’ families.

In 2022 we had only 454 deceased donors. Of 1300 requests only 701 families gave consent. 54%! If we could reach 77% of families saying yes we could realise around 1000 donors.

At 1000 deceased donations the cost per year to Australia would be $5,000,000.

The savings in lives & ongoing medical costs could be significant. If each donor saved 5 lives, the number of lives saved is $5000 or just $1000 per life. Is it ethical?

The answer to these questions & many more need to be discussed but the idea should be explored.

I have done some research into the ethics of the funeral expense proposal.

The UK government introduced The Children’s Funeral Fund for England (CFF)

The concept of covering funeral expenses was suggested by Nuffield Council Of Ethics in the UK,

In my first 12 months of advocacy I have:-

1. Worked with WA’s Health Minister’s office to have a letter sent to Donor Families Australia allowing donor families to celebrate loved ones without concern of prosecution under Section 34c of the HTTA Act. I encouraged the creation of the Friends of Organ Donation group in WA’s Parliament.

2. Worked in NSW to establish a Parliament Friendship Group for Organ & Tissue Donation & Transplant Awareness.

3. Assisted to secure additional funding for the WTG in Perth.

4. Arranged for 5.2 Million people to receive an email in NSW encouraging registration & to discuss Next of Kin Consent with their family.

5. Facilitated digital links on NSW govt websites to DonateLife .

6. Written to the parliamentary enquiry into organ donation in WA.

My focus is on improving Legislation, Education & Communication to increase awareness amongst families and next of kin about the decision they may be unfortunate enough to have to make when confronted with the sudden loss of a loved one.

The heartbreaking story of Odetta’s family and their generosity and selflessness, to give Next of Kin consent for her organs to donated to save other people’s lives, is inspirational. #funding #ethics #education #health #research #digital #organdonationsaveslives #nextofkinconsent #funerals

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