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Sign on to save a life.



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Gary Nairn MP Federal Member for Eden-Monaro PO Box 232, Queanbeyan NSW 2620 Tollfree NSW 1800 041 539 Ph: (02) 6297 3952 Fax: (02) 6297 5768

Press Release Ref: 589 Published: 19/2/2002 Title: Sign on to Save a Life

Federal Member for Eden-Monaro, Gary Nairn, has supported the call by Federal Health Minister, Senator Kay Patterson, for all Australians to mark Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week by talking to their families about their views on organ donation and then register with the Australian Organ Donor Register.

Senator Patterson launched Australian Organ Donor Awareness Week in Canberra on Monday.

Mr Nairn said for people with life-threatening or serious illnesses, organ or tissue transplantation may mean a second chance at life, or an improved quality of life.

"More than 60,000 Australians have received transplants in the past 60 years and improved survival rates now mean most recipients of organs or tissue can look forward to many years of productive life," Mr Nairn said.

"By registering to become an organ donor, people were potentially making the greatest gift one human could give another - the gift of life and hope.

"However, it is crucial for people who are intending to register talk to close family members about their desire to donate an organ to ensure that their wishes were fulfilled.

"When a family is aware of their loved one’s intentions, they very rarely go against them. Indeed, in most cases the decision to donate organs and tissues helps a family make sense of death," Mr Nairn said.

Mr Nairn said that if you register as a donor, the chances are that you are 20 times more likely to need an organ yourself than you are to donate one.

"Nearly one million Australians have registered with the Australian Organ Donor Register since it was launched in November 2000 with that figure expected to rise over the next few months when existing data from State transport authorities is transferred to the national register.

Australians can now register on the Donor Register on-line at www.hic.gov.au/organ or call

1800 777 203 for enquiries. Registration forms are also available at all Medicare offices.