The Brisbane Times | Julia Medew
|Only 32 per cent of Australians have signed up to donate their organs. Photo: Getty Images|
Up to 150 Australians a year are missing out on potentially life saving organ donations because people's loved ones override their wish to donate their organs when they die.
National Medical Director of Australia's Organ and Tissue Authority Helen Opdam said about 12 to 15 registered organ donors did not become donors each year because a family member or friend objected to the process in hospital.
One organ donor can save up to 10 lives, depending on how many of their organs are suitable to be transplanted. There are about 1600 people on the waiting list for an organ at any given time.
This week, two prominent ethicists called for Australia to scrap its policy of allowing family members to override a person's decision to donate their organs when they die.
Writing in The Age, Julian Savulescu, Peter Singer and William Isdale said the "family veto" rendered the Australian Organ Donation Register meaningless in practice, with up to 50 per cent of families saying no to a donation request. Continue reading