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Organ Donor Service confess to 'no figures'

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

3 March 2006

Organ Donor Service confess to 'no figures'

Organ Donation NZ coordinator, Janice Langlands in an interview with National Radio today admitted that they do not actually know how many families vetoed a donors' wishes in the past.

This admission comes after months of the organ donor service stating in many interviews "that 'not many' families overturn a donors wishes."

Cabinet papers released this week also state several times that it is "rare" for families to veto donation.

When challenged today on National Radio by Andy Tookey of GiveLife NZ to go past "not many" and "it's rare" and produce the figures Ms.Langlands responded:

"There aren't actual figures....., there will be in the future....., we didn't go back to the drivers licence to see what was actually on the driving licence at that time."

Ms. Langlands went on further to say that 40% - 45% of families say "no" to donation.

When asked on her views to Mr.Tookey's statement that "People should not be able to veto your wish to be a donor." Ms. Langlands replied. "Yes, logically that is the thing we would want to happen."

Mr.Tookey has been trying to get figures on organ donation by submitting an Official Information Act request to the Minister of Health. The Minister has responded by putting the request on hold.

"Now the cat is out of the bag that there are no figures and never was any, the Minister has no need to stall further on this request." Said Mr.Tookey

He also hoped that the Health Select Committee would also bear in mind the 'misleading' statements given by the donor service and contained in the Cabinet Papers when they review the proposed legislation.

***** ENDS *****

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