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US State Proves NZ Govt Wrong (Again)

GiveLife NZ
22 January 2008

US State Proves NZ Govt Wrong (Again)

The New Zealand government's decision to do a U-turn on their 2005 pre-election promise of an organ donor register on the grounds that, "there is no evidence that registers increase the donor rate" has now lost all credibility in light of a new report released today said Andy Tookey of GiveLife NZ.

The US State of Illinois which has the largest donor registry in the US has reported a 20% increase in donor registrations for the first-person donor registry. Since it became law in 2006.

Illinois' first-person consent law provides that a person's decision to donate his or her organs is legally binding. Previously, no matter what the deceased person had intended, the donation decision was up to the person's family, and many bereaved survivors didn't follow through on donation pledges.

A number of other US States report a high registration rate on their donor registers as well.

National Party Associate Spokesperson for Health, Dr.Jackie Blue introduced a similar bill for New Zealand last year but the bill was voted down in Parliament in favour of the governments own bill which U-turns on a previous promise of a register.

"The government has repeatedly focused on those registers that haven't done so well as the reason for not having one, and each time the successful ones are pointed out to them they just stick their fingers in their ears and say "we can't hear you, we can't hear you." Said Mr.Tookey.

The Ministry of Health has announced that there will be no register because New Zealanders are "not capable of making the decision to be a donor"

"That statement is breathtakingly arrogant" said Mr.Tookey, "many, many counties in the world believe their citizens are capable of making that choice but for some reason our citizens are "not capable?"

GiveLife NZ will be shortly launching a new innovative initiative to help increase the donor rate and to give the 'power back to the people.'

"Luckily, this will be independent of the government and the MOH so there is less chance of them making a further mess of things." Said Mr. Tookey.

Fact File
a.. NZ has the lowest organ donor rate in the Western World
b.. In 2006 there were just 25 organ donors
c.. 2007 organ donors figures are back to where they were 6 years ago
d.. During that time the waiting list for organs has doubled
e.. There is no way to register as an organ donor in NZ


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