Based on an article by Julia Medew
Australia should scrap its policy of allowing family members to override a person's decision to donate their organs when they die.
Up to 150 Australians a year are missing out on potentially life saving organ donations, people's loved ones continue to override their wish to donate.
Australia's Organ and Tissue Authority's Helen Opdam said about 12 to 15 registered organ donors did not become donors each year because a family member or friend objected to the process in hospital.
One organ donor can save up to 10 lives, depending on how many of their organs are suitable to be transplanted. There are about 1600 people on the waiting list for an organ at any given time.
The "family veto" rendered the Australian Organ Donation Register meaningless in practice, with up to 50 per cent of families saying no to a donation request.
The donation decisions of individuals should be legally protected – just as decisions about other aspects of end-of-life care, when expressed through an advance care directive, or a will, are.
Family members, who are emotionally distraught, who do not share an individuals philosophical or religious views, should not be able to ride roughshod over an individuals previously expressed wish to donate.
They are failing to respect the deceased wishes and prevent life-saving transplantations from taking place.
This situation is ridiculous and should be remedied as soon as possible, let's see some action.