Show what's in your heart by discussing organ donation with your family.
Show what's in your heart by discussing organ donation with your family. File

Share organ donation decision with loved ones

ALTHOUGH most people are in favour of their organs being donated after their death, the reality is few will actually die in a place or in a way that will make them an eligible donor.

The fact that many of those eligible donors haven't expressed their wishes to their loved ones beforehand means less than 1% of people will become an organ donor.

DonateLife Qld spokeswoman Kate Stodart said for someone to be an eligible donor, they must die in an Intensive Care Unit from a head trauma, including an accident or stroke.

The nearest ICU to Warwick is one of Toowoomba's public or private hospitals.

Ms Stodart is urging people to take the time today to let their loved ones know their decision - whatever it is.

"One of the biggest things we find is that even though research tells us 90% of people agree with donation, we have a 40% refusal rate," she said.

"If you haven't discussed it with your family and then they are asked what your wishes were, they want to respect you and sometimes they err to the side of 'no' to be respectful of you.

"It is a highly emotional time when people are battling with losing a loved one, and if they know your wishes it can also ease the burden."

Ms Stodart said it was important for people to understand they could no longer use their driver's licence to indicate the preference.

In 2005 this option was removed and a national database took its place.

"The next time you are next to your family, let them know whether you want to be a donor and if you are really inspired, go online to the register and make your decision official," Ms Stodart said.

The donor register allows people to formally declare their wish to become a donor, which can assist family members in their decision.

Last year, the state saw its biggest donor numbers yet, with 78 of the nation's 354 organ donors from Queensland.

In the same year, 300 Queenslanders donated tissue.

The reason for death in almost half of Australian donors last year was stroke.

 

Make your decision

Queenslanders are no longer able to indicate their donor preference on their driver's licence.

To formally indicate your intention to become an organ donor visit donorregister.gov.au.


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