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Holly's Insight

Thought provoking essays from

Dr Holly Northam's quarterly DFA News column

Holly's Insight: Quote

Make your decision count

July 2017

The 2017 Donatelife Week campaign has changed the relationship between the Australian community and Donatelife.

Organ Donation – Conflicting power and interest, like an "elephant in a china shop"

July 2016

Organ donation is a challenge.

Against a backdrop of empirical evidence, we see a push by a privileged and powerful lobby group to increase the availability of organ transplants through policy that incapacitates and disempowers individuals and families.


Exactly the opposite effect to what the evidence says is the most powerful leverage point in changing attitudes.

Thank you: Donors and their Families

December 2016


An extract from Holly's speech at the Canberra Thank You Day function.

Donor Heroes?

December 2015​

The opening ceremony of the International Organ Donation and Transplantation Procurement Congress in Seoul, Korea, carried a tribute to those who make transplantation happenorgan and tissue donor heroes.


This caught my attention because despite widespread public use of the term in relation to organ donation, the idea of donors and donor families as heroes is contentious in philosophical and regulatory circles.

Scientific progress in donor transplantation

June 2014

Keeping abreast of the science and innovation that enables successful organ transplantation remains a challenge!

Growing humanity

December 2014

It is impossible to approach the Christmas period without acknowledging the meaning that many Australians find from their religious beliefs.

World view ripples

December 2013

Holly's brief reflections on the International Organ Donation Congress recently held in Sydney.

Roadmap to the future

March 2017

A timely look back from where we started our humble beginnings to where we are aiming to ensure that Donor Families views are heard and are taken into consideration within the Organ and Tissue Donation System

Your views matter

April 2016

An important recommendation from the Ernst and Young review of the national reform agenda on organ and tissue donation and transplantation was, the OTA should consider revising the Donatelife logo in light of the concerns expressed by donor families.

Should families be blamed for low donation rates?

March 2015​

Recent press releases by the Parliamentary Secretary for Health Fiona Nash (2015) and the Shadow Minister for Health, Catherine King (2015) have effectively blamed the decline in Australia’s 2014 organ donation numbers on the families of deceased people.

Reflection on best practices

July 2015​

There has been much comment over the past two months regarding a review into the implementation of the Australian organ donation reform.

Tissue donation: precious gift

October 2014

The gift of tissue donation provides great hope to people who are unable to see, to patients who suffer life threatening burns, to children with cancer who face amputation and others who can benefit from bone and other transplantation therapies.

The power of the "ick" factor in organ donation

September 2013

Over the last few weeks a number of incidents in the public sphere have highlighted the problem of callous, inaccurate and insensitive representation of organ donation.

Connecting Donor Families

May 2013

The launch of Donor Families Australia provides a wonderful opportunity for Donor Families to improve community acceptance of organ and tissue donation.

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