Organ donation -its the greatest gift of all

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					                                               Sunday Mail Adelaide
                                               Sunday 21/9/2008                                             Brief: PARL-LIB
                                               Page: 75                                                     Page 1 of 2
                                               Section: General News
                                               Region: Adelaide Circulation: 318,179
                                               Type: Capital City Daily
                                               Size: 391.22 sq.cms.
                                               Published: ------S

Organ donation -it's
the greatest gift of all


L ET'S be honest, there aren't many        For tar too long, organ donation rates a total of six million registrations, there
   positives that come from death. But in Australia have lagged behind many has been no increase in the number of
   perhaps organ donation brings other nations, despite high levels of lives being saved through transplants.
with it the only bit of light from an community support. And for too long, Despite the significant new invest-
otherwise sombre circumstance.           Australians have been left desperately ment that we are making through this
  There's no doubt that David Hookes waiting, month after month, for a trans- scheme, the Government recognises
was a great cricketer, but the legacy he plant that could mean the difference that we can't do it alone. In his speech
has left is equally impressive.        between a normal, healthy life and               to the House when introducing the
  In keeping with David's wishes, his debilitating chronic illness - or even            legislation to establish the Authority,
family donated his organs - and by life and death.                                      the Prime Minister acknowledged that
doing so, sparked a tide of overwhelm-   Take last year, for example, there             the media plays a key role in lifting
ing public support for an issue which were just 198 deceased donors, which              organ donation rates in Australia too.
is too often overlooked.               resulted in 657 transplants - not even
  The success of the David Hookes coming close to the number of Austra-                    When the media reports on successful
Foundation - set up by his family to lians in need. With the injection of               transplants, effective donation rates go
increase public awareness and the significant new funds to employ trained               up. The media reminds us that we too
number of organ donors - is testament specialist staff and assist hospitals,            are an important part of the story. And
to the man himself.                        raise community awareness and pro-           when the media gets behind an organ-
  The Foundation has been pivotal in       vide counselling support for donor fam-      isation, such as the David Hookes Foun-
bringing this issue to the attention of   ilies, the Government is committed to         dation, there's often a surge in public
South Australians. We are now much        establishing Australia as a world leader      interest and support.
more acutely aware that, at any given     in organ donation and transplantation.           As Australians, we love to rally
time, around 1800 Australians are wait-      Measures are being put in place at         around a good cause and this, the
ing for the call telling them an organ the heart of the problem where our               chance to change and even save lives,
has become available.                     organ donor system is currently falling       is one of the greatest.
   And we now know the sad reality for down - in the emergency wards and                   Organ donation is something that as
too many Australians is that the call intensive care units of our hospitals.            a nation we need to consider. Lifting
may never come.                              At the moment, we don't have enough        organ donor rates will help build a
   That's why this week the Prime Min- trained staff who are expert in helping
ister announced that the Rudd Govern- families when they are faced with this,           more efficient health system and help
ment is providing the national leader- often seen as confronting, situation.            sick Australians back to full partici-
ship that Australia needs to lift organ                                                 pation in work and the community. But
                                             It is a very fine line these staff tread   on a personal note, it must also be
donation rates and to make it possible as they navigate families through this
to save more lives and return many difficult time - a skill requiring great             considered.
people to good health.                    sensitivity and empathy.                        It's natural that no one really wants
   He explained that the move to estab-                                                 to think about our inevitable death. But
                                             But                         on our hos-
lish the Australian Organ Donation and pitals the pressures placed interaction
                                                   can mean that this                   it really is worthwhile to think about
Transplantation Authority was due in can get lost in the mix.                           the legacy we can all leave through
large part to the call for action emerg-                                                organ donation - and you don't have
                                                          to this
ing from the 2020 Summit earlier this ofWhat addshospital problem is aman-
                                              dedicated           resources to
                                                                                        to be a great cricketer to do that.
year. And the Government realises that age the clinical procedures necessary
the establishment of a national organ which explains why, despite an in-                    Kate Ellis is the Federal MP (Labor) for
donation scheme and the necessary crease of one million in the number of                  Adelaide and Minister for Youth and Sport
investment of $151.1 million is also long organ donor registrations since 2002 to

                                                                                                                           Ref: 41449067
                      Sunday Mail Adelaide
                      Sunday 21/9/2008                        Brief: PARL-LIB
                      Page: 75                                Page 2 of 2
                      Section: General News
                      Region: Adelaide Circulation: 318,179
                      Type: Capital City Daily
                      Size: 391.22 sq.cms.
                      Published: ------S

GIFT OF LIFE: David Hookes at Adelaide Oval in 2002

                                                                          Ref: 41449067

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