July 23-30 is Donatelife Week.
An opportunity to promote the life saving gift of life made possible by loving families who provide the necessary Next of Kin Consent required for organ donation to take place.
Every year the Australian Organ and Tissue Authority run a campaign calling for Australians to register their intention to become organ donors should they die in the right circumstances.
The Organ Donation Register currently has less that 40% of Australian Adults eligible to Register actually registered. It also has 0% of children under the age if 16 registered as donors. Yet this group make up around 30% of all organ donors in Australia.
Currently laws in Australia require the family of a deceased organ donor to provide their permission for the person to become an organ donor, whether the person is registered on the Organ Donation Registry or not.
Only 1400 people passed in exactly the right way to be considered for organ donation and around 100 of those had registered not be an organ donor so no further action could be taken to save others lives through organ Transplants.
Of the other 1300 people who died, their families were asked to give consent and only 701 said yes. That means despite some of those people being registered as potential organ donors 599 families said NO!
Sadly 247 of the deceased donors whose families had given consent did not go on to be donors for Medical and Logistical reasons but 454 heroes became life saving Donor Heroes when their families said YES.
This year Transplant Advocacy is asking every family in Australia to have a conversation about whether they would want their loved ones to say yes if they were ever confronted by the question of whether they would give Next of Kin Consent to allow them to become and organ donor hero if they passed away on life support in a hospital. Then pray they never get asked.
Transplant Advocacy is also asking the governments of Australia both Federal and State & Territory to honour Donor Heroes in the same way we honour other heroes with Australia Day and Kings Birthday Awards.
The UK honour their Heroes with an Order of St John Medal and their next of kin consent rates are much higher than Australia. 64% in the UK versus just 53% in Australia.
An increase in Next of Kin Consent Rates in Australia to this level would see 195 mor donor heroes each year resulting in an additional 600 or more lives saved each year through organ and tissue donation.
Founder of Transplant Advocacy and former Advertising Executive, Rob Manning, is living proof of what can happen when a family says yes and my story is a fascinating one of being miraculously saved when things went catastrophically wrong.
His advocacy since January of 2022 has resulted in significant progress in legislative action, improved communication and education in the are of organ and tissue donation and transplant awareness around Australia.
Rob is available for interviews to discuss Organ and Tissue Donation