A Simple Conversation Can Save Lives

Minister for Health Jill Hennessy today urged Victorians to talk about organ and tissue donation with their loved ones during DonateLife Week.

DonateLife Week, which commences today and continues until Sunday 9 August, is a national annual awareness campaign that encourages more discussion about organ and tissue donation.

This year’s theme is to ensure loved ones wishes are shared and known.

A new survey released today has found 73 per cent of Victorians would say ‘yes’ to receiving a life-saving transplant if they needed one, with 69 per cent saying they would willing to become an organ and tissue donor.

However, despite this broad community support for organ and tissue donation, only 49 per cent of Victorians surveyed have made a decision on becoming a donor and just 55 per cent have discussed the subject with their family.

Talking about organ donation with loved ones ensures they understand the donor’s wishes when there is a potential opportunity for organ and tissue donation.

In 2014, 117 generous Victorians donated 369 organs last year – 202 kidneys, 64 livers, 53 lungs, 31 hearts, 13 pancreases, 1 heart-lung and 5 pancreas islets.

These donations helped 352 Australians to receive a life-changing organ transplant last year, an increase of 23 per cent on 2013.

With over 1600 Australians on organ transplant waiting lists at any one time, the Andrews Labor Government urges Victorians to register as donors and ensure their family knows their wishes.

To register to be an organ and tissue donor visit www.donorregister.gov.au.

For more information about organ and tissue donation and DonateLife Week activities, visit www.donatelife.gov.au.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Jill Hennessy

“Organ donation is an incredibly rare and very special gift. It can save lives, and help others to lead healthier lives.”

“It’s so important that Victorians not only register to be organ and tissue donors, but that they tell their family of their wishes so that donations can proceed.”

“Victorians are the most generous in the country when it comes to donating their organs, and thousands of Australians are alive today because of the selfless decisions of donors.”

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