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Australian government moves to unify donation, transplant policies.

In their continuing attempt to developed a unified approach governing organ donation and transplantation policies and practices, the Australian government and the public health sector have signed a National Communications Charter.

Karen Murphy, chief executive of the Australian Organ and Tissue Donation Authority announced that 46 organizations, including all eight State and Territory Governments, have signed the charter to improve the outlook for Australians requiring an organ or tissue transplant, PSnews reported.

"Australia leads the world in transplantation medicine," Murphy said, "but the rate of donations is low by global standards."

Murphy said the Charter united the sector under guiding principles to communicate clear and consistent messages and dispel some of the myths and misinformation in the public arena.

"Our key message to Australians is a simple one--talk today with your partner and family about your decision to become an organ or tissue donor because they are required to confirm your wish to donate life," Murphy said.

Murphy observed that "although there are six million people listed on the Australian Organ Donor Register, on average there are 1,800 children, women and men on a waiting list for a transplant at any time. But in 2008 just one third of the demand was able to be met from 259 deceased donors."

The new Charter will create a single, national team.

"It's a symbolic vote of confidence by Ministers, State health departments, industry associations, community organizations and tissue banks to lift donor activity," Murphy said.
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Publication:Transplant News
Date:Jun 1, 2009
Previous Article:Almost half of patients in us over 60 will die waiting for a transplant--study.
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