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Organ donations down

05 June 2006

Just 29 people donated organs last year, the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry 2006 report shows.

Usually about 40 people donate their organs each year, and the drop has led to some patients receiving old or diseased organs.

Campaigner Andy Tookey said organs were used from four people with hepatitis antibodies (including three livers), two with type 2 diabetes (including all their kidneys), and one with brain cancer (both kidneys). Nearly a third of the donors were smokers when they died, and the median age was 48.6, compared with 35.9 in 1998.

In January this year, 379 people were waiting for an organ transplant.

Parliament's health committee will soon consider submissions on National MP Jackie Blue's Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill, which would create a voluntary register for people who want to donate their organs. The bill would not allow a donor's wishes to be overturned by family members.

courtesy of STUFF - www.stuff.co.nz

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