“Donating, or planning to do so, is a really positive act and it should get celebrated. After you take in all the information, and you’ve really thought about it, if donation really aligns with your values, then take a minute to register. That’s all it takes.”
These are the words of Dr Sam Radford, Deputy State Medical Director for DonateLife Victoria, in talking about the simplicity of registering to become an organ and tissue donor, and the fact that one day, that decision may save the lives of others.
Death and dying can be a sensitive topic and often an uncomfortable subject to talk about, however, in this final and fascinating episode of Let’s Talk Organ and Tissue Donation, Dr Radford presents an array of interesting facts about organ donation, and busts some myths, too.
Dr Radford answers questions about his role as an intensivist in a major Melbourne hospital, and talks about the different pathways to becoming an organ donor. He discusses which of our organs and tissue types can typically be donated, and talks about some of the different illnesses that may lead to the need for organ transplantation.
Notably, Dr Radford also talks about the important relationship that is formed between a donor family, clinical staff and donation staff, to ensure that families are fully informed during the process of considering donation.
“What we’re striving for is to make sure that the donation teams get face-to-face with donor families, or the donors individually themselves, before death and dying, and before the pathways to death and dying are set in stone. Then an informed conversation can take place alongside the clinical staff. The donation staff and the clinical staff work together to make sure that families get a chance to consider donation in a way that’s right for them.”
While registering only takes a minute online, Dr Radford also explains why it’s so important to talk to your family about your registration decision.
“Whether they agree with you or not, they’re definitely going to understand your decision better. In doing so, you have absolutely helped them - the people you love - for the eventuality that if you do die, where the possibility of donation exists, you’ve taken a burden off their shoulders. You’ll have made it really clear what your thoughts and values are.”
This is the final episode of Let’s Talk Organ and Tissue Donation, produced by radio announcer Michael Billings and our DonateLife Victoria team.
More Australians are alive today because of organ and tissue donation. To register as an organ and tissue donor, visit donatelife.gov.au – it only takes a minute; all you need is your Medicare card.