New online tool makes organ and tissue donation easier
Queenslanders are more willing than most to become organ and tissue donors, but they are lagging behind the rest of Australia in registering their decision, according to DonateLife Queensland.
It is a gap DonateLife Queensland is tackling by promoting instant access to online registration, which went live in time for this year's DonateLife Week campaign.
Minister for Health and Ambulance Services Cameron Dick encouraged Queenslanders to get behind the campaign to register more donors.
“Registering is vital because we know that when a loved one is registered, nine out of ten families proceed with donation,” Mr Dick said.
“In 2016, 323 patients received transplants at public hospitals, thanks to the generosity of 106 donors and the skill and dedication of clinicians.
“We all live busy lifestyles and this new online registration tool will make it easier for Queenslanders to make their feelings about donating known on the Australian Organ Donor Register.”
According to research conducted by DonateLife, 74 per cent of Queenslanders are willing to save lives by donating their organs and tissues, compared with the national average of 67 per cent.
DonateLife Queensland State Manager Tina Coco AO said while the good intentions are there, just over a million Queenslanders (27 per cent) are currently registered - trailing both the national average (33 per cent) and New South Wales (40 per cent).
“Life is busy and people find it hard to make time to register and discuss their wishes with family. If there's no sense of urgency, it just falls off their radar,” Ms Coco said.
“That's why we are so excited that this year's campaign removes one of the most significant barriers to registering for the first time. Now you can sign up instantly on your mobile phone, tablet or computer in less than two minutes at www.donatelife.gov.au.”
The new online registration coincided with the opening of Gifted Lives, a photographic exhibition celebrating donors and recipient families, at the Lady Cilento Children's Hospital at the weekend.
Children's Health Queensland Chief Executive Fionnagh Dougan said the new exhibition celebrated life-giving organ donation.
"We are delighted to be supporting this extraordinary exhibition which will be featured at the hospital and online," said Ms Dougan.
The artistic work of award-winning portrait photographer Louis Lim captures intimate moments in the everyday lives of 13 families, including heart, lung, kidney and liver recipients.
Among those featured is two-year-old Elise who still waits, and a donor family who have participated in memory of their kind and giving daughter, Sophie.
It is hoped Gifted Lives will serve as a reminder that organ and tissue donation saves many lives each year and that this exhibition encourages Queenslanders to formally register their decision to donate.