Organ and tissue transplants can be the last resort for a range of life-saving and life-improving treatments. This opportunity usually only becomes available when someone donates their organs or tissues upon their death. The latest organ donation figures have reached a record high – the generosity of 309 donors and their families saved or significantly improved the lives of 931 Australians in 2010. This organ donation total, however, only equates to a national organ donor rate of 13.8 per million, which suggests more can be done to help Australians who are on transplant waiting lists. What is the government doing to increase community awareness in an effort to boost the organ and tissue donation rate?
This book addresses the misconceptions and facts about organ and tissue donation and registration. It also explores a range of ethical issues around consent and objection, such as ‘opt-out’ system proposals, religious considerations, the brain death debate, altruistic living tissue and organ donation, the illegal market in body parts, and animal to human transplantation (xenotransplantation). What does it take to give the gift of life?