Opinion

Consenting to save another life

Organ donation is the final gesture a person can make but it's still up the family to give the final okay.
Organ donation is the final gesture a person can make but it's still up the family to give the final okay. helllbilly

THE death of Cole Miller was terrible in its rawness.

A life unfairly snatched from a family who lost their son and brother as the result of a senseless act of violence in an environment that proffers to be safe in its social frequency.

An innocent bystander caught up in a situation beyond his control, he paid the ultimate price, leaving a community reeling and permanent void in the hearts of all who knew him.

All the while he rested in hospital in his heartbreakingly, unrepairable state, surrounded by his distraught family and understanding medical staff, the last heroic act Cole could muster was that of being an organ donor.

Of course that decision was taken out of his hands the moment he became eligible to donate, a victim of circumstances where several planets have to align, not for Cole as this sad story goes, but for the recipients of his final gesture.

Without the blessing of his family, Cole's perfectly functioning organs, those same ones that powered this charismatic young man more than 24 hours earlier, would too be relinquished to the fate every lifeless body endures unless consent is given.

It barely needs to be said that losing someone in the prime of their life is one of the most difficult things any family will face, but being able to garner the strength to make the decision to give, let's face it, pieces of their loved one away in order to help save a stranger's life, must be as confronting as it is profound.

What the Miller family required was not only unshakeable bravery but an element of open discussion and pre-planning, however improbable it may have seemed at the time, the cold reality being they were forced by awful circumstances to enact on their family pledge.

Cole and his family's generosity means six families will get a second chance at life, something the Millers and Cole never got themselves, but despite that, could turn around, stricken with grief, and rise beyond their own devastation to enable that to happen.

Helping to humanise what can seem like callous and mechanical in nature is the best way to encourage more Australian families to prepare better, just in case that moment we all dread comes along.

Despite our catch cry of mates helping mates, Australia still has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the world.

The cloak and dagger procedures and terms like 'harvesting' don't help mum or dad start the conversation, even if it is medically correct.

While sharing the basic details of the recipients is a careful process, it should be encouraged, not just with the families involved directly but also the general public.

It doesn't mean they need to meet each other or know names, but not disclosing any information ensures the process of organ donation remains an enigma.

People are then less likely to feel comfortable or willing to explore the possibilities well before any bedside vigil, which is no place for awkward conversations.

It's a discussion I've had with my only offspring, a daughter, now slightly older than Cole, and while we will hardly be in any state for lucid thinking if either of us were to suffer a similar fate, it is something that between us is written in stone, not just on our driver's licence.



New hope for survival of goanna pulling

Max Gardiner is competing in the annual Australian Goanna Pulling Championships at Wooli sports grounds on Sunday 2nd October, 2016.

Meeting called to reverse cancellation and get help now

OPINION: Climate change sceptics swim in blissful ignorance

Musician Eddie Vedder performs at the 2016 Global Citizen Festival in Central Park on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016, in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Want to keep your head in the sand? Might need to buy a snorkel

Multi-vehicle crash near Grafton

Ambulance generic

Three cars and a semi-trailer involved in Pacific Highway crash

Local Partners

Dreamworld may supersize with 'Disneyland expansion'

OWNERS of icon Gold Coast theme park Dreamworld want to super-size the site with accommodation and entertainment to turn it into Australia’s Disneyland.

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000 calorie diet

Brian Shaw won his 4th World's Strongest Man title. Source: Twitter

World’s strongest man reveals incredible 12,000-calorie diet

High Abilities take over the Jaca

READY TO ROCK: The High Abilities group will be playing at the Jacaranda Hotel on Friday night in support of Living Proof.

CRANES band all set for their next show at Grafton pub

ABC2 slammed over football exhibition match coverage

Fans weren't too happy with ABC2's coverage of Wednesday night's game.

ABC2 slammed for coverage of soccer exhibition match

'Bulls--t!' Lisa Wilkinson grilled over Karl's pay packet

Join us for a Great Night as we Proudly present Lisa Wilkinson

“And you believe everything you read?”

Rebel Wilson trial: The secret we never could have known

Rebel Wilson outside court

“Most people wouldn’t know it exists,” she said.

Janet’s back in the ring

Marta Dusseldorp returns in season three of the TV series Janet King.

Season three of ABC's legal drama delves deeper than ever before.

How Toowoomba house prices compare in Australia

For sale sign in front of home.

Here's what $700,000 will buy you in Toowoomba, Brisbane and Sydney

One of Maryborough's most historic homes is still for sale

FULL OF HISTORY: Trisha Moulds is owner of the historic Tinana state known as Rosehill. The beautiful home is currently for sale.

It has been the scene of both joy and tragedies over the years.

The face of the Sunshine Coast's overpriced rental crisis

Alyx Wilson had to rent a $385 unit in Currimundi because the market was too competitive for cheaper rental housing. She is now renting a room from friends who own a house in Currimundi, and says its much more affordable.

Young people feel the strain in competitive, expensive rental market

WATCH: Take a tour of a tradie's dream home

5a Bruce Hiskens Court, Norman Gardens, going for $720,000. INSET: Lea Taylor.

Huge block with potential for anything

REVEALED: Where it's cheaper to pay off a mortgage than rent

6/190 Ewing Rd, Woodridge, is listed for offers $215,000. Picture: realestate.com.au

Brisbane suburbs where it is cheaper to buy than rent

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!