Tonight marks the third annual National Donor Heroes’ Night when Canberra households are asked to ‘leave a light on’ in support of organ and tissue donation from 6pm.
By lighting a candle or turning on the porch light, the event allows families of donors, donor recipients and the community to thank, honour and commemorate those who have donated their organs and tissue. All persons who support organ and tissue donation are invited to participate.
Minister for Health Rachel Stephen-Smith said organ and tissue donation transforms and saves many lives every year.
“The two vital things you can do are to register and tell your family. Registering lets the doctors and nurses know you want to be a donor. It’s easy to register and only takes a minute. You need to be over 16 and it’s also vital that your loved ones know you want to be a donor. This will help them make the decision if that difficult time comes,” said Minister Stephen-Smith.
Last year the ACT became the first jurisdiction in Australia in which families have the option to acknowledge a loved one’s donation in the death register and on the donor’s death certificate, said Minister for Human Rights Tara Cheyne.
“Key principles guiding these acknowledgements are that they are optional, entirely up to the family and not-time limited. This ensures that families have control and agency in deciding if, how and when they wish to have their loved one’s donation recognised.
“Tonight at 6pm, we encourage Canberrans to ‘leave a light on’, remember 25,000 Donor Heroes who have given the gift of life or improved life by donating their organs and tissues, and have a conversation or consider the importance of registering as an organ and tissue donor.”