Organ Donation Misconceptions

1516 Words 6 Pages
Are you going to donate your organs when you die? It’s a sensitive question, one that’s shrouded in false beliefs, myths and avoidance, and now we are paying the price. With significantly greater demand than supply for donor organs in developed countries all over the world, what is it going to take to get more people to donate?

While transplant success rates in Australia are amongst the best, we have one of the lowest organ donation rates in the developed world (Transplant Australia, n.d.). There are, at any one time, around 1700 Australian’s waiting for an organ transplant and on average, they wait between 6 months and 4 years (Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation of WA, 2011). In fact it is alarming to know that each Australian has a 10 times greater chance of requiring an organ transplant than of becoming an organ donor (Organ Donation and Transplant Foundation of WA, 2011). Consent rate is low with less than 60% of families giving consent for organ and tissue donation to proceed and so something needs to be done, something needs to change (Donate Life, 2015).

There are a number of false beliefs, misconceptions and erroneous myths that, after scrutiny, seem laughable, but research has
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Donate Life (2015) found that 20% of Australians fear that a doctor may not try as hard to save their life if they are a registered donor and this increases to 35% for young adults aged between 18 and 29 years. Hence, many people fear that instead of saving their life, the doctor’s main intention will be to remove their organs as soon as possible. However, the transplant team is entirely separate from the medical team looking after the patient and only notified after the patient is declared legally dead and the family have agreed to donation

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