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It's Donate Life Week

Intensive Care and Medical Donation Specialist, Dr Jane Lewis explains why it’s so important that we talk about death.

30 July 2020

Dr Jane Lewis is an intensive care and medical donation specialist, she explains that no matter what your health condition is, you should register as an organ and tissue donor and tell your family what your wishes are.  

“There are so many myths around who can and can’t be a donor, I’d like people to know that regardless of your age or existing conditions you may still be able to donate organs that could save lives.”

“If it’s your wish to be a donor, please register your decision on the organ donor register.”

She adds that speaking to your family about your wishes is equally as important as registering.

“Even though you’ve registered, the decision to donate is ultimately supported by your family.”

“Talking about death is incredibly difficult, but it’s also so important. By having this discussion with your family, you’re making them aware of what your decision is.” 

“You’re also helping your loved-ones make an informed decision that reflects your wishes, beliefs and values.”

“It’s also incredible to see the comfort that this brings to families, knowing that they’re respecting their loved-ones wishes and that they’re able to help others,” she said.

In 2019, we had 16 patients at Austin Health donate their organs. While this number does not seem high the impact on the lives of others is enormous.

"We've also had hundreds of eye donors."

“These amazing people have gone on to change the lives of hundreds of people. We’re so thankful to the donors and their families for their generous gifts,” she said.

To register as an organ donor visit: donatelife.gov.au/register-donor-today 

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