DonateLife Week, 2020: Organ donation can save or drastically improve a life

DONATE LIFE: The difference between life and death in just one decision. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
DONATE LIFE: The difference between life and death in just one decision. Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK

RIGHT now around 1700 Australians are waiting for an organ transplant and for many of them it will be the difference between life and death.

While the majority of people in NSW say they support organ donation, only one in three are registered organ donors.

This DonateLife Week, which starts on Sunday, July 26, Central West residents are urged to consider donation and to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Last year, 1683 lives were transformed by 548 deceased and 239 living organ donors and their families.

Also during, 2019 more than 12,000 Australians benefited from eye and tissue donation.

NSW Organ and Tissue Donation Service general manager Danielle Fisher said lives in Bathurst, Dubbo, Orange and the Central West had been saved and transformed thanks to the generosity of donors and their families.

Last year, 1683 lives were transformed by 548 deceased and 239 living organ donors and their families.

"Organ and tissue donation gives people needing a transplant a second chance at life," she said.

"Registration is so important because it leaves families in no doubt of their loved one's wish to be an organ and tissue donor."

While unable to provide data on registrations in metro areas compared to regional NSW, Ms Fisher said a recent community awareness survey found people in regional areas are more likely to be registered donors.

In Australia, families will always be asked to consent to donation. When a person is registered, nine in 10 families honour the wishes of their loved ones.

"Registering is quick and easy at donatelife.gov.au. It only takes a minute with your Medicare card," Ms Fisher said.

For those who are already registered, Ms Fisher encouraged them to have the conversation with their loved ones.

"Talk to your friends, family and colleagues this DonateLife Week. Tell them you want to be a donor, and encourage them to register too," she said.

Ms Fisher said in time more people are registering for organ donation than ever before, and she acknowledged the generosity of deceased donors and their families.

In NSW, you can no longer register via your driver's licence and people will need to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.

DonateLife Week runs from July 26 to August 2 and it is the national awareness week for organ and tissue donation.

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This story The difference between life and death in just one decision first appeared on Daily Liberal.