House debates

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Statements by Members

Organ and Tissue Donation

1:40 pm

Photo of James StevensJames Stevens (Sturt, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to raise the very important topic of organ donation, and I'd like to start by commending my home state of South Australia. In South Australia, whenever you apply or re-apply for a driver's licence, you have the opportunity to indicate that you wish to be an organ donor. This is very important particularly where we see the untimely, unexpected and tragic death of someone who may not have had a conversation with their family about their wishes around organ donation. We are given the opportunity to express our wishes proactively, if we choose to do so, when we apply for our driver's licence. What this means is that families and loved ones in that terrible circumstance where they have lost someone close to them have an indication of what that person's wishes were. So when asked by a medical team if the family are prepared to give consent for the organs to be donated, they've got an indication of what the will of the person was.

This is not the case in most other jurisdictions in this country. Although it's not a matter of Commonwealth policy—it's one for each of the states to consider—I strongly urge that people give consent for their organs to be donated. I'll be taking the matter up as a representative and an advocate to see this kind of opportunity provided to all Australians—not just in South Australia but across this country. It leads to fantastic outcomes. In the terrible circumstance where there has been loss of life, another life can be saved. (Time expired)