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Proposed Change to Donor Rules Submitted to Ballot

Proposed Law Change to Donor Rules Submitted to Ballot

A proposed law change to make organ donor's wishes binding has been entered into the Parliamentary Ballot today by National's Associate Spokeswoman for Health Dr.Jackie Blue.

If the Private Members Bill is drawn out of the bi-monthly ballot and passed by Parliament it would see the law changed so that no person would be able to overturn the wish of a donor, including next of kin.

Andy Tookey of organ donation reform group GiveLife NZ has been working with Dr.Blue in the drafting of the proposed legislation. "We have been working on the details of this proposed law change quite intensely over recent times, and I am very grateful for the amount of time and enthusiasm that Jackie and the Clerks office at Parliament have spent putting this together." Said Mr.Tookey.

The Bill, titled the Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill 2006 would allow those aged eighteen and over to register as organ donors. Once registered no one would be able to overturn their wish, only the registered donor would be able to do this at any time through the register.

"There will now be some hope for the many who are on the waiting list for transplants. Our hope now is that it is drawn out of the ballot as soon as possible so that we can save lives that were previously lost due to family or others vetoing a donor's wish. On it's own this legislation will not cure our organ donor shortage but will save more lives which can only be a good thing. It's a start,and I will continue persuing other avenues to improve our donation rate" Said Mr.Tookey.

Mr.Tookey is confident that once it is drawn from the ballot it will move swiftly through Parliament. "I have tremendous support for a change in law, because it is not only about being a donor, but it also about your right to have your wishes respected in law over others."

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