I am not a member of a donor family but I owe one family my life.
On 18th May 2023, Donor Heroes Night is being held to commemorate and acknowledge donors and the families for the gift of life.
More needs to be done to support Donor Families.
It flawed me to learn last year that two states still have laws that prevented donor families from celebrating their donor heroes?
In July 2022 a letter was sent to DonateLife, Transplant Australia and Donor Families Australia from the Western Australian government saying that there was no public interest in prosecuting families who disclosed the name of their deceased donor hero under the Section 34c. The law had existed since the act was introduced in 1982 yet it took 40 years for any action to protect families.
In South Australia the state had used national legislation to protect families until legislation was introduced in 2022 in the state’s Legislative Council with an amendment to the Births Deaths and Marriages Act.
It took a progressive parliamentarian in The ACT in 2021 to protect residents of the nation’s capital.
Next of Kin Consent rates in Australia fell to a low of just 54%, last year and without the families of people who pass in an ICU or Emergency department, deceased donations and lifesaving transplants can not happen.
More needs to be done to address the important role families have in the donation process.