Labor’s plans to harvest more organs

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ANDREW Barr says ACT Labor will make it as easy as possible to sign up to be an organ donor, by removing key hurdles to meet an ambitious 90 per cent organ donation rate target.

“Most people would agree to be an organ donor if they knew how many lives they’d save,” Andrew said.

“But we all lead busy lives, and the current process can be a hassle, requiring time and effort to complete. We will make this easier.

“Under the plan, Canberrans would be assisted to sign up to be a donor at the point they renew their driver’s licence. All the necessary organ donation information will be supplied in advance with licence registration information to allow a fully informed decision. A form with basic details already completed will be available when you get your licence to save the hassle of filling it out. We’ll even send off the form for you, with the Federal Organ Donor Register then posting your organ donor card to your home address.

“We will also establish a national garden of appreciation at the Arboretum to celebrate the gift donors have passed on and the new life recipients have received. Organ donation experts have long called for this kind of recognition to remove the stigma from organ donation and encourage more donations.

“Locally, in 2015 (to October), 13 people donated 46 organs which saved the lives of 39 transplant recipients. That is great news, and shows how generous and thoughtful Canberrans are – helped by the hard-working officers at DonateLife, and wonderful organisations like Gift of Life Inc. But the donation rate can be higher – it’s time to take people off the waiting list and replace fear with new life and hope.

“Over the past year I’ve met brave young Canberrans and organ donation recipients like Ava Bancroft and Harry Irvine. They are inspirational young people who are already giving back to their community, and will for decades to come, because they were fortunate enough to receive an organ donation. They give joy every day to their families, and will one day have families of their own, because of the fundamental generosity of a donor.

“Of course, anyone can choose to opt out. But organ donation is critically important and deserves the ACT Government support to make it easier.

“This reform will be accompanied by an education and awareness raising campaign, developed in consultation with Gift of Life Inc and DonateLife.”

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