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Innovative New Service to Increase Organ Donors

***MEDIA RELEASE***

GiveLife NZ
1 May 2008

Innovative New Service to Increase Organ Donors Launched

An ‘innovative’ new healthcare solution to help increase the number of organ donors in New Zealand was launched from Parliament today.

Andy Tookey of Givelife NZ, a campaign for reform to the organ donation system, held a press conference in Parliament’s West Wing Foyer this morning to launch ‘LifeSharers.’

LifeSharers is New Zealand’s ONLY organ donor register and it gives a POWERFUL incentive to join the register.

LifeSharers members direct that their organs should be offered first to other registered organ donors.

“Donating organs to other registered organ donors will increase the number of people signing up to be a donor.” says Andy Tookey. “As membership grows, so does your access to more organs.”

When our membership grows to one million people that will give you access to a million hearts, a million livers and two million kidneys that you wouldn’t have access to if you are not a member.”

Membership is Free and everyone is welcome to join. There are no medical constraints to joining.

“By joining LifeSharers you will also make the organ transplant system fairer by helping registered organ donors get their fair share of organs.

Many of the organs transplanted in New Zealand go to people who have not agreed to donate their own organs when they die. That's not fair;

It’s like awarding the Lotto Prize to someone who didn’t buy a ticket.

Even the most selfish of people will join if it gives them greater access to organs that will save their or their families lives.”

Only 42% of drivers have ‘donor’ on their licence, and around half of potential donors in Intensive Care Units do not become donors due to objection by themselves or their families.

“I would anticipate that 99% of the population would say ‘yes’ to receiving an organ if it were to save theirs, or their children’s life, yet only 42% have put donor on their driving licence.

Remember, without organ donors there are no recipients either.” Says Tookey.

LifeSharers puts members higher on the priority list for transplants, above those who refuse to donate – that encourages more people to be donors and that saves lives.

It would possibly even benefit people who don’t want to be donors, but are prepared to receive an organ. Organs are first offered to LifeSharers members. If there is no match it then goes to the next person on the list.

* ‘Directed Donation’ is legal in NZ.

For more information, and to join LifeSharers visit: www.lifesharers.org.nz


ENDS

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