A international leader in successful organ transplants, Australia still has one of the lowest donation rates in the world. Lucy Cormack asks why.
It’s a frightening thought, to be asked to give away the vital organs of our loved ones.
But for registered nurse and PhD student, Holly Northam, it’s even more frightening that less than 60 per cent of Australian families ever say yes.
A recognised leader in successful transplants, Australia has one of the lowest organ and tissue donation rates in the developed world.
In her ten years of medical experience, Northam has seen a stark conflict between the approach taken by hospitals requesting donations and the reactions of potential donor families.
It’s the “agony of the human aspect of organ donation”, said Northam, which prevents shocked and grief-stricken families from being able to handle such an emotional and confronting decision.