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Minister refuses to seek the truth

GiveLife NZ

30 July 2007

Minister refuses to seek the truth.

The Minister of Health, Pete Hodgson has refused a request under the Official Information Act to find out exactly how many potential organ donors had their wishes overturned says GiveLife NZ spokesperson Andy Tookey.

Previous information released to Mr.Tookey by the Minister showed that last year out of 46 potential organ donors the families of 21 of those refused consent to donation.

GiveLife had asked the Minister to check the LTSA database to see how many of those 21 people had registered as a donor on their driving licence.

In a letter to GiveLife today the Minister has refused the request.

"What has he got to hide?" said Tookey. "The whole thrust of the opposition to a legally binding organ donor register has been the argument that "not many families veto the wish of an organ donor so it is not necessary to change the consent system."

The Health Select Committee are currently considering National MP Dr.Jackie Blue's Private Members Bill that provides for a legally binding consent register and a Government Bill that provides that family can overturn the donors wishes in some circumstances.

"Checking the LTSA database of 21 people to see if they were a donor or not is hardly a huge task. One wonders why the Minister will not ask his officials to do this, unless of course they are worried the truth of the numbers will contradict their constant stance of "not many."

"Refusing this information to Parliament and the public so that they can push their own Bill over others is not the democracy we expect and deserve." said Mr.Tookey.

The Health Select Committee are due to report back their decision to Parliament this week.

ENDS



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