Saturday, December 26, 2015

Family consent a key to lifting organ donation rates

Sidney Morning Herald | Comment

There are nearly five times the number of people waiting for an organ donation as there are organ donors.

http://www.smh.com.au/comment/smh-editorial/family-consent-a-key-to-lifting-organ-donation-rates-20151223-gltvj0.html

In the flesh-and-blood lottery of organ donation, the numbers are stacked against those with failing body parts. As ailing patients wait, enduring on-going treatment, rounds of dialysis, hospitalisation and onerous drug regimes, many edge inexorably closer to dying for want of an organ transplant.

Despite the reputation of Australians as a compassionate and caring people, there is an entrenched reluctance to make the final and often traumatic decisions about death. We mostly flinch at discussing end-of-life plans with our loved ones and shy away from difficult conversations concerning the fate of our bodies. And so, too often, these conversations are shelved, for the most part, often until it's too late to think rationally about the pros and cons of signing on for organ donation.

Australia's organ donation rate lags behind that of 21 other nations, with nearly five times the number of people waiting for an organ donation as there are organ donors. And less than 1 per cent of people die in hospital in the specific conditions that make an organ donation possible. Continue reading

 

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