One step online registration to increase organ donation

Australians will soon be able to register as organ donors in less than ten minutes online, the Minister responsible for organ donation Fiona Nash has announced.

Page last updated: 02 February 2016

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2 February 2016

Eight years after the Australian Government announced a programme to increase organ donation and transplantation, seven per cent of Australians are registered organ donors – 1.8 million people. A further 4.3 million have at some stage signalled intent to become a donor but have not completed the paperwork required under the current system.

“Just 1.8 million of 24 million Australians are registered organ donors,” Minister Nash said.

“Almost all Australians would like to be able to receive a donated organ if it was required to save their life. Yet the vast majority of Australians are not registered as organ donors. Every Australian can help improve Australia’s organ donation and transplantation rate – they can register as an organ donor. If we increase the number of registered organ donors, we will save more lives.

“As of May, registering to become an organ donor will be a one-step, online process able to be completed in less than 10 minutes - no paperwork necessary. The Coalition Government will run awareness campaigns including distributing the link on social media, but government alone can’t increase the number of donors – we need Australians to register as organ donors.

“If this change results in the 4.3 million people who have previously signaled an intention to become an organ donor completing registration, we could quickly triple the donor pool and save more lives. However I hope far more people than that will register, and importantly, tell their families about their decision.

“In Australia, we worship our sporting stars and we rightly honour our war heroes, with memorials bearing their names.

“Organ donors are real heroes who save lives. Donor families give an amazing gift. Let’s admire our organ donor heroes with the same passion we admire our stars in sport or music or whatever our particular interest is.

“Just one per cent of people die in circumstances which allow them to become an organ donor. An obvious way to increase organ donation is to increase the donor pool.

“I’m a registered organ donor and you can be too.”

There are 1600 Australians on the waiting list for some sort of organ at any one time. Tragically, 50 Australians die every year waiting for an organ. The DonateLife audit from September 2015 shows family consent rates to allow donation to go ahead are 91 per cent when the deceased had registered as an organ donor, but are only 42 per cent when the deceased has neither registered nor discussed their wishes with their family.

The independent review into the organ donation and transplantation sector, which will be released soon, praises the initiative, which was already in train when the review was commissioned by the Australian Department of Health.

Media contact: Les White 0409 805 122

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