I am bewildered why the head of the Organ and Tissue Authority in Australia would mislead people by providing outdated information and statistics to create a false narrative.
I have been made aware of the negative feedback and discussion in the OTA about my advocacy, however I am committed to using my Second Chance and extensive business skills and experience to advocate passionately across Australia to ensure every Australian receives the same amazing opportunity I was afforded by a life saving transplant if they ever need it.
I will also advocate so that every donor family is afforded the respect and acknowledgment for their selflessness to provide Next Of Kin Consent for their loved ones to save the lives of others.
In a recent statement to the media about increasing rates, the Australian people the Chief Executive officer of the OTA stated:-
“To achieve that, we need to make sure people can register easily,” Ms Barry said. “The evidence from SA shows one way of achieving that is through driver’s licences.”
Siting OTA figures from 2021 that
“ Only South Australian residents currently have this option and DonateLife figures show the state has the nation’s highest registration rate of 72 per cent. Seven in 10 SA families are also saying ‘yes’ to their loved ones becoming donors when asked in hospital.”
The current figures from SA show that the consent rate has fallen to just 60% and the process for registration is not a fully automated process nor does it remove the need for Next of Kin Consent when a decease person is assessed as a potential donor whether they are registered or not.
South Australia still has legislation under which families in SA could be prosecuted if the make public the name of a deceased donor loved one. https://www.legislation.sa.gov.au/__legislation/lz/c/a/transplantation%20and%20anatomy%20act%201983/current/1983.11.auth.pdf#page21
Despite the recent legislation introduce in the federal parliament to give the OTA greater control of the confidential information, the uncertainty still exists in SA and other places regarding similar provisions in the law.
As a secondary concern right now there are at least 2 very sick people waiting for lifesaving Transplants in Australia, who are being manipulated by media because of their stance on Vaccines and their stories should not be scapegoated by anyone.
Vicki is a Mum who needs a new heart and Dazelle is a 16 year old girl who needs new lungs.
Vicki is saying she is being denied a heart transplant because she is not vaccinated for COVID and Dazelle’s dad says is being denied a lung transplant because she also is not vaccinated for COVID.
In the situation where a deceased person’s family gave the necessary Next of Kin Consent for their loved one to become a donor, and that person’s organs were deemed suitable for transplantation. Then in turn either of these two patients were the only suitable clinical match for the needed organ, would the hospital destroy a deceased donor’s heart or lungs rather than transplant them into Vicki and Dazelle if they were the only matches for those heart or lungs but are not vaccinated for COVID?
I sincerely believe that both of these lives should be saved if medically possible. Further, neither recipient should be denied an opportunity to live due to arbitrary guidelines being enforced as mandates.
Perhaps something has been misconstrued as to why both individuals and their families believe this matter is about COVID VACCINES and Vaccination.
If it does turn out that they are both being denied access to a transplant because of vaccination guidelines, can you confirm if either patient has been tested for COVID Antibodies or natural immunity?
The Assistant Minister responsible, can do something to change the discourse in Australia about Organ and Tissue Donation by being more transparent with the public and other politicians about how the Organ and Donation process works. In reality Australia already has a virtual opt out system.
Not widely shared by the OTA is that in 2022 only 170 of 454 deceased organ donors were on the OTA Donatelife Organ Registry. That's just 38%
In Australia if you are one of the approximately 1400 people who die each year on life support in a hospital you will be assessed as a potential organ donor.
In all states organ donation can only occur when the deceased individual’s family have been asked to consent to organ donation of their loved one’s organs whether the deceased person had registered their intention to be a donor or not.
46% of Australian families said NO and that percentage had been increasing annually since before COVID and despite millions of taxpayer dollars being spent on expensive advertising campaigns and professional sporting club sponsorships.
The driver’s license issue, raised by Lucinda Barry in South Australia is also not having the same impact as in previous years with South Australia dropping from 72% consent rates to just 60% in 2022.
At issue is the lack of real harmonised legislation across the states and territories, little or no education for families about their role in the donation process until tragedy strikes and misguided communications about registering being the solution.
Families in South Australia, Western Australia and The Northern Territory potentially face prosecution and fines of up to $20,0000 under the local Transplantation and Anatomy legislation is the tell the story of how their loved one is a deceased organ donor who saved the lives of others.
Individual Hospitals make guidelines for patients to receive transplants rather than having a set of nationally agreed guidelines and the cost to reintroduce drivers license registration has been estimated in the 10s of millions of dollars and would take years to have any impact.
NSW introduced a tile on their digital app with more than 2% of the 2022 registrations to the national register coming in just a 4 week trial. It has been reintroduced this year as a part of Donatelife week. I received personal criticism and negative feedback from Lucinda for this, despite it being an initiative of the NSW government.
I am extremely grateful for everything I have and believe I can provide the OTA with my skills, experience and lives experience which to this point has been shunned by them to help increase consent rates across Australia. I have previously offered to join the OTA Community Engagement Group and offered to volunteer in any capacity but hav been rejected.