AMA strongly supports Donatelife week

4 Aug 2016

This week is DonateLife Week 2016, and the AMA is encouraging all Australians to strongly consider becoming an organ and tissue donor.

Organ donation is a brave and generous act that can save and improve the quality of life for many people. A visit to the family doctor is a great place to talk about considering organ donation. Family GPs are an excellent source of information, and they can help people make an informed choice to become a donor.

AMA President, Dr Michael Gannon, said that registering with the Australian Organ Donor Register is an important first step, but people need to discuss their decision with their family, as their next of kin will have the final say.

“Australians should have informed discussions about organ donation with their families. There are currently 1,500 people on organ transplant waiting lists at any one time. A single organ and tissue donor can directly save or improve the lives of 10 or more people,” Dr Gannon said.

The latest figures show that 91 per cent of families agreed to proceed with organ donation when their loved one was registered as an organ donor; 75 per cent of families agreed to organ donation when they knew their loved one’s decision; but only 52 per cent of families agreed to organ donation when their loved one had not registered or discussed their donor wishes.

To register to become an organ and tissue donor visit the Australian Organ Donor Register website to register online; call 1800 777 203; or fill out a form at any Medicare office.

Full media release