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Organ donor registration is vital: AMA

AAP logoAAP 19/12/2016 Sarah Wiedersehn

Give the gift of life this Christmas by making the commitment to become an organ donor, says the Australian Medical Association.

Around 1600 people are on the Australian organ transplant waiting list at any one time.

One organ and tissue donor can help more than 10 people by saving a life, improving the quality of life and restoring bodily function.

The majority of Australians - 69 per cent - are willing to become organ and tissue donors.

But just talking about your intent to become an organ donor isn't good enough, registration is vital, says AMA president Dr Michael Gannon.

In Australia, the family will always be asked to confirm the donation decision of the deceased individual before donation takes place

When their loved one was registered as an organ donor, 91 per cent of families agreed to organ donation, said Dr Gannon.

"If they knew their loved one wanted to be an organ donor, but had not actually registered their decision, 75 per cent of families agreed with the decision," he said.

According to the data, only 52 per cent of families agreed to organ donation when their loved one had not registered or discussed their donor wishes.

"That is why it is important to register, and equally important for donors to make their families aware of the registration," Dr Gannon said.

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