DonateLife week shines a light on organ and tissue donation

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The federal government is encouraging Australians to consider registering for organ and tissue donation during DonateLife week.

The minister responsible for the Organ and Tissue Authority, Mark Coulton, said organ donation had saved the lives of more than 11,000 Australian in the past decade.

In 2018, 1,782 lives were transformed due to the generosity of 554 deceased and 238 living organ donors and their families.

“With more than 1,400 Australians on the waitlist for a lifesaving transplant at any one time and a further 11,000 on dialysis, I’m urging people to get online this week and sign up,” said Mr Coulton.

“It’s important that we get as many people as possible to consider the benefits and understand that by registering, they may one day give the gift of life to a fellow Australian.”

The minister said registered donors also need to make their wishes known because families and friends are required to give final consent for organs and tissue to be donated - more than 90 per cent of families proceed with donation if their loved one is registered.

People can register online using their Medicare number.

DonateLife week will see national landmarks like Sydney Opera House, Melbourne Town Hall and Story Bridge in Brisban lit-up in magenta, the colour synonymous with DonateLife Week.

“Don’t think that because you live in a regional area or a country town you’re not able to register to help save lives, it’s important that we get as many people as possible to sign up,” said Mr Coulton.

“These lives can only be saved if selfless Australians continue to donate, and during DonateLife Week we thank all donors and their families who generously consented to organ or tissue donation.

“We also celebrate those whose lives have been transformed through a transplant, and send hope to the waitlisted and future recipients.”

DonateLife Week runs from Sunday 28 July to Sunday 4 August and is part of the Australian Government’s national program to increase organ and tissue donation and transplantation in Australia.