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Dave's Statement to ABC's Australian Story

Statement to Australian Story: 13 April, 2008

Many members of the Jesus Christians have donated kidneys over the past five years. This was not a unanimous decision at a particular time, nor has it ever been a requirement of any member of our community. However, because members are living with others who have donated, and who have given glowing reports of the experience, and because we receive dozens of requests from people who are in need of kidneys, one by one various members of our community have freely volunteered to donate a kidney.

Thousands of people die every year while waiting for kidney donors. Even if every person in Australia were to sign a donor card to become organ donors after they die, there would still be only about enough kidneys harvested from deceased donors to meet 40% of the need for kidneys in Australia. Live donors are essential to overcome this deficit.

Often relatives or close friends will donate when the need becomes personal and when it starts to affect a loved one. But we are convinced that there are literally thousands of Australians like ourselves, who would welcome the opportunity to save a life just by offering their kidney to any hospital in Australia that accepts live non-directed organ donations. Most Australians do not know that they COULD make such a donation. The mass media needs to be utilised to make the general public aware of this.

We have tried repeatedly to get the media, both in Australia and overseas, to broadcast these facts, but too often, the media has had more fun hinting that Jesus Christians who have donated organs are brainless zombies acting under my supposedly superhuman influence. We believe that the ABC has been drawn into this same melodramatic game, to the extent that it has been willing to hear and use unsubstantiated claims against the Jesus Christians, and to do so without giving us even a chance to respond. We are hopeful that Ash's relationship with his mother may soon revert to what it was before he announced his intentions to donate to Sandi, and that Kate will no longer feel a need to distort the facts in order to justify her interference with Ash's decisions about what to do with his life.

We ask that the media stop trying to demonise those who donate organs and focus, instead, on the great need for more live unrelated donors.
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