Greens Call For Assessment of Opt-Out Scheme
Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP
Greens Health spokesperson
The Tasmanian Greens today described the decline in Tasmania’s organ donation rate as a silent tragedy, which is afflicting some of the state’s most vulnerable people, and called for the state to urgently examine how to boost community participation in this life-saving process.
Greens Health spokesperson Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP said that an organ donation opt-out system should be central to these considerations because it could automatically provide a deceased person’s organs for use, which could help as many as 10 more people live, unless that person had previously opted out of the donation scheme.
“Today’s report by ShareLife shows that $151 million of taxpayers’ money has failed to boost Tasmania’s organ donation rate. Also of concern is that the report finds that, while the public remains willing to donate their organs, the current system is failing both donors and recipients,” said Mr O’Halloran.
“This is a wholly avoidable tragedy, which those people on organ donation waiting lists will know only too well. The Federal and State governments urgently need to review their organ donation strategy and considering an opt-out system should be a central part of that.”
“The Greens are on the public record calling for the merits of an opt-out system to be examined, and this latest report again demonstrates the need to consider new ways to boost participation rates of donors and their families.”
“The ShareLife report found that Tasmania’s donation rate fell by over 22%, while the number of people awaiting transplants remained did not. That means, for example, of the 197 Tasmanians waiting for a liver transplant, only 15 are currently due to receive one.”
“People simply cannot be allowed to continue to suffer because we can’t get to grips with our organ donation system.”
“The Greens will continue to call for the merits of an opt-out system to be assessed, as well as other ways to boost organ donation rates, which the new ShareLife report demonstrates have increased in NSW and Victoria. In the meantime, I urge everyone to register to be an organ donor today,” said Mr O’Halloran.
To become a registered organ donor, you can call 1800 777 203, fill out a form at any Medicare office or register at www.medicareaustralia.gov.au
Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP Greens Health spokesperson