DONATE, HELP SAVE LIVES

MULTICULTURAL AUSTRALIANS ENCOURAGED TO REGISTER AND DISCUSS ORGAN DONATION TO SAVE LIVES

The Australian Government is urging Australians of all ages from multicultural backgrounds to put their good intentions about organ donation into effect by registering and sharing their decision online. The Assistant Minister for Health, Ken Wyatt, said DonateLife Week was the perfect time for Australians of different faith and cultural backgrounds who wanted to save lives to make time this week to join the Australian Organ Donor Register.

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In the lead up to DonateLife Week, Mr Wyatt said 69 per cent of Australians said they were willing to donate their organs and tissue after death and yet only 33 per cent of adults had joined the national register. All major religions in Australia support organ and tissue donation as the ultimate act of generosity, however some Australians remain unsure about whether their faith permits donation.

“Faith and cultural leaders have been working with the Organ and Tissue Authority to develop rulings in support of organ and tissue donation, together with faith-based and in-language resources, to support their communities in reaching an informed decision,” said Mr Wyatt.

These resources are all available at http://www.donatelife.gov.au/for-the-community/multicultural-resources

“Registering is very simple and has no down side – and it just might mean the world to someone who needs help to stay alive or live a normal life.” Mr Wyatt today visited the Liver Transplant Unit at the Austin Hospital in Melbourne to speak with liver transplant specialists and patients waiting in hope for a life-saving transplant.

A new video launched by Mr Wyatt contrasts the anguish of waiting for a transplant with those every-day things people find themselves waiting for, such as a holiday, a birth or simply our morning coffee. The video will be available in 14 languages.

Events specifically aimed at young adults, males and people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds have been funded through Organ and Tissue Authority’s Community Awareness Grants to be held during DonateLife Week. These funded initiatives are designed to extend messages to these priority audiences and drive awareness of the importance and process of registration on the national register for organ and tissue donation decisions.

Increasing rates of organ donation enabled a record 707 Australians to receive life saving transplants in the first six months of this year. A new annual record was also set in 2015, of 1,241 organ recipients. Currently around 1,500 Australians are waiting for a life saving transplant, with a further 12,000 people on dialysis waiting for a new kidney.

Mr Wyatt said nine in ten families agreed to organ donation where their loved one was a registered donor. This drops to just five in ten where the deceased was not registered and the family had no prior knowledge. He said it was easy to register online at the DonateLife website www.donatelife.gov.au, which provides a simple way for people to self-select their preferred method of registration.

People who previously registered via a driver’s licence are encouraged to check that their details on the Register are current by contacting Medicare on 1800 777 203 or by email AODR@medicareaustralia.gov.au.
To access the DonateLife Week campaign video and images visit http://www.donatelife.gov.au/donatelife-week-2016-media

To access DonateLife Week campaign materials in language visit http://www.donatelife.gov.au/donatelife-week-2016-multicultural-resources

The DonateLife – Australian Organ Donor Register brochure and form is available in 18 languages at:  http://www.donatelife.gov.au/brochures-0