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Organ donor rates worldwide reach record highs

*****FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE*****

GiveLife New Zealand

28 April 2007


Organ donor rates worldwide reach record highs

Figures just released show many countries around the world had a record number of organ donors last year. In one case up 33% on 2005.

The United Kingdom, Austria, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Sweden, Finland and the Netherlands have reported an increase in organ donors in 2006.

This week, Canada announced a "new record for organ donation in Ontario."

In the US, 35 states reported an increase, with Sacramento reporting a 33% increase, New York up 22%, Tennessee up 20%. North Carolina reported that "donor numbers are almost doubling annually." In Maryland, 2006 presented a record year of organ and tissue donations through the Living Legacy Foundation.

In contrast, New Zealand's organ donor rate plummeted to a World low at just 25 organ donors for 2006.

Dr. Peter Hicks, Chairman of the board that advises the organ donor service on improving the organ donor rates in New Zealand told the Health Select Committee when he appeared before them recently:

"The fact that other people may die does not validate efforts to increase the number of donations.”

Andy Tookey of GiveLife NZ said. "Such a statement from someone who is chair of a committee who's mandate is to increase the donor rate does not inspire a lot of confidence that we'll go anywhere except further backwards."

Dr. Hick's further statement to the committee that; "We actively control admissions to ICU and restrict admissions where there is no possibility of recovery." needs looking into further said Mr.Tookey.

"There may be no chance of recovery for that person, but that person may have wanted to save up to ten other lives, if there are spare beds available at the time then maybe consideration should be given to the potential donor."

The Health Select Committee are currently considering a government bill and a private members bill on organ donation.

ENDS



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