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- Start of Business
STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS
- Wentworth Electorate
- Electricity Privatisation
- Dunkley Electorate
- National Multicultural Festival
- Aged Care
- Tasmanian Tigers Cricket Team
- Paterson Electorate: MRI Licence
- Greek Community Tribune
- Palm Island
- Redcliffe and District Wildlife Rescue
- Rudd Government
- RUDD GOVERNMENT
- DISSENT FROM RULING
PRIVATE MEMBERS’ BUSINESS
- Organ Donation
- Health Services
- Interest Rates
- Ministerial Accountability
- 75th Anniversary of the Ukrainian Famine
- GRIEVANCE DEBATE
Friday, 22 February 2008
Mr SIMPKINS (10:14 AM) —I appreciate having the opportunity to speak in support of the motion on organ donation. As a father, a husband, a son and a brother, and as a member of Australian society, I very clearly feel the responsibility to be an organ donor. It is on my driver’s licence and my wife and I are on the register. These things need to occur in the lives of all of us. I struggle to understand why there are not more people on the register and the donation rate is not higher. But, hopefully, through Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week and motions such as this one, and through the commitment of MPs and other members of society, we will see an improvement.
On a daily basis there is a need for organ donation to restore hope to people afflicted with injuries or diseases or needing a transplant for genetic reasons. While it is easy for each of us to think of the image of somebody laid up in a hospital bed or at home, almost unable to move, it is also important to realise that none of us exist in isolation. These people also have families around them. Sometimes it is the carers or providers who are themselves laid up. They have a place in the lives of children, older parents and friends. All that is at risk if we do not get organ donation right. The point is that there are downstream consequences. So, in considering organ donation, all members of Australia’s society should think not just about that high-profile picture of a person who is laid up in hospital but also about the effect that saving that person or giving them a higher quality of life will have on the families, the kids, and others affected by the circumstances.
Obviously these matters are grave, and we have responsibilities, but, on a slightly more positive note, I would like to draw the attention of the House to the fact that we will be fortunate enough to have the 11th Australian Transplant Games being held in Perth from 5 October to 10 October. Some of the events will be held in the electorate of the member for Fremantle and others will be held in the electorate of the member for Swan. The games take place every two years. They include a range of games and sports, including running, rowing—’God’s own sport’—chess and scrabble. This indicates that organ donations and transplants can result in people returning to a full life of opportunity and capacity. But sometimes people are only being kept alive through organ donations and transplants. While they may not end up being able to run marathons and things like that, it is still a great thing for them to be able to carry on and remain part of the lives of their family and the people around them. Hope can be restored and there is life after great adversity if we get organ donation right.
As others have said very clearly, leadership is required—not just advocacy but demonstrated commitment. It needs to be on our driver’s licence. It needs to be on the organ donation register. We need to discuss these things with our families. I have spoken to my wife about it and she is clear on it. I have spoken to my mother about it and she is clear on it. I have spoken to my parents-in-law and they are clear on it. Everybody knows the wish of my wife and I, which is that, should things come to the worst, we want to be there for people who need organ donation.
I endorse this motion. I urge all who are present today and those who note this motion to speak to their families and get on the register. This is our responsibility. We cannot and should not avoid it.