Organ and Tissue Donations

March 19, 2013 by J-Wire Staff
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Minister for Multicultural Affairs Kate Lundy and Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing Catherine King have announced the release of a national community education kit about organ and tissue donation for Australians of diverse faith, cultural and language groups.

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Robbie Berman, Professor Bettina Cass, Yael Cass and Jeremy Jones

Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence, Robbie Berman, Professor Bettina Cass, Yael Cass and Jeremy Jones

The ‘DonateLife…the greatest gift’ education kit is the culmination of consultations with and assistance from religious and cultural leaders including from the Buddhist, Catholic, Greek Orthodox, Muslim, Hindu and Jewish faiths.

Speaking at the Sydney launch, Ms King said, “Faith and cultural leaders today united in their support to assist their communities in understanding that organ and tissue donation is considered to be an act of compassion and generosity.

“In launching the ‘DonateLife… the greatest gift’ community education kit, we now provide to the leaders of their communities, who have shown such enthusiasm for promoting awareness of organ  and tissue donation, the tools to begin to integrate this important issue into their communities.”

“The collection of DonateLife Statements of Support, signed by religious and cultural leaders, enables Australians to understand their faith or culture’s perspective on organ and tissue donation and why it is considered an act of compassion and generosity”.

The ‘DonateLife…the greatest gift’ community education kit, developed in consultation with religious and cultural leaders, enables Australians of diverse faith and cultural backgrounds to have access to culturally-appropriate information that addresses particular concerns or questions they may have about organ and tissue donation.

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick

Rabbi Moshe Gutnick

The ‘DonateLife…the greatest gift’ community education kit is now being distributed to over 500 religious and community organisations. In addition to the signed Statements of Support, the community education kit includes an eight minute video featuring key religious and cultural leaders, as well as faith-specific and, where appropriate, in-language brochures and posters.

Ms King said, “This campaign is an initiative of the Federal Government’s Organ and Tissue Authority. Organ and tissue donation and transplantation is an issue that affects people from all walks of life. Having access to culturally appropriate information is key to ensuring all Australians, regardless of their religious or ethnic background, are well informed about organ and tissue donation.”

Minister for Multicultural Affairs, Senator Kate Lundy, welcomed the launch of the religious and cultural community education kit and said, “Australia is a vibrant multicultural nation and this campaign will help people from diverse backgrounds make an informed decision about organ donation.”

“I commend the religious and cultural leaders who have come together to save lives.”

Ms King said, “The launch of this campaign marks the start of our long term engagement with Australians from culturally and linguistically diverse communities. I look forward to continuing our dialogue with other faith and community groups.”

The meeting was also addressed by Robby Berman who lives in Israel but was educated in the United States. Berman founded the Halachic Organ Donation Society. Sydney’s Rabbi Moshe Gutnick also spoke. Rabbi Jeremy Lawrence did not speak but he did tell J-Wire: “I carry a HODS donor card and support the “brain stem death option” / am prepared to donate heart / lungs / liver / kidneys / cornea & tissue etc”


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