| February 07, 2017
Damian Drum commends the work of Zaidee's Rainbow Foundation
Delivered: Federation Chamber, 7th February 2017.
My constituency statement has to do with Zaidee's Rainbow Foundation, which is a foundation that was formed after the death of Zaidee Turner, a seven-year-old girl from Shepparton who died in 2004.
She died from a burst blood vessel in the brain, and Zaidee's parents, Kim and Allan, created a foundation called Zaidee's Rainbow Foundation.
Zaidee and her family were all registered organ donors, and as a result Zaidee's organs and tissues were donated to the Royal Children's Hospital, where she helped to save or improve the lives of seven other people. It is an amazing story which encourages us all to think about organ donation.
Last year in Australia, we had 160,000 people die.
We had just over 500 people actually donate their organs for the betterment of other people, many of them desperately in need.
While these 500 people in Australia, in all of the nation, are a 16 per cent increase on the previous year, it certainly highlights the fact—a fact that many people are not aware of—that in order to donate your organs and your tissues, even if you are 100 per cent supportive of that happening, you have to die in very extreme circumstances.
Actually, you have to be on the table, on life support, and your family has to more or less give the okay.
It is only a very small percentage of people, a fraction of the percentage of the people who register and have the wish that their organs or tissues be donated, who donate.
For all of those people who happen to die outside of that environment, the oxygen depletion of the organs effectively means that those organs are no longer able to be used in operations.
Therefore, in conjunction with meeting Allan over the last few weeks and months, I am pushing my voice towards an opt-out system.
At the moment we currently have an opt-in system.
All of Australia is out unless you register, and then upon your death your family is happy for your tissues and organs to be donated.
There are countries such as France, Wales and Spain that have the opt-out system.
Everybody is effectively in and only those people who specifically have an issue about this have the opportunity to opt out.
We are currently a First World country, but in the numbers in relation to organ donation we are ranked somewhere in the 20s.
I am sure we all have friends, relatives and neighbours who are in desperate need of organs so that they can continue to live a healthy life, and I am really going to start pushing for an opt-out system in Australia.