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NEWS  6 August 2008, 6:32PM

Organ donor figures lowest this century

By Andy Tookey

Figures released today by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donor Registry show that New Zealand is on track for another record low number of organ donors for this year.

For the first seven months of this year there have been just 14 organ donors.

In 2006, New Zealand had it's lowest ever amount of organ donors, with just 25 donors for the whole year. Though the number of donors for the first seven months was 17.

"The organ donor service was given a half a million dollars rebranding handout, tripled their annual budget, doubled their amount of staff and then halved the donor rate. The government has gone along with their promises and ideas for a better system and it has made things worse. It is time for the government to admit that it has been a failed and costly experiment, not only financially but in terms of lives lost of those who were on the transplant waiting list." Said GiveLife spokesman Andy Tookey.

Mr. Tookey believes new government legislation may be also contributing to the problem. "Previously, next of kin could object to you being a donor if they believed you had changed your mind about being a donor and not recorded it.

Under the new laws, family permission must be explicitly sought and the reasons for their objections have been widened to allow refusal on 'spiritual, cultural and distress grounds.' The government has also backtracked on their 2005 pre election promise of an organ donor register which means there is no where for an individual to record their informed consent to being a donor. This leaves it wide open for everybody else to decide except for the person who actually owns the organs.

It is time the government took this seriously, as many lives are being lost due to their inaction and constant excuses to not do anything.

courtesy of info news - www.infonews.co.nz

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