News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Low rate of organ donation ensures long transplant queues

NZ’s low rate of organ donation ensures long transplant queues, says UC lecturer

October 26, 2012

New Zealand’s very low rates of organ donation help ensure that the queue for transplants remains very long, a University of Canterbury (UC) economics lecturer said today.

Figures released show New Zealand has the lowest rate of organ donation in the Western world aside from Greece and Mexico. The government said in June it would give $4 million over four years to boost donations.

UC lecturer Dr Eric Crampton said if New Zealand were able to increase its transplant rate it would save lives and reduce costs on the health system.

``It is great that New Zealand is exploring ways of improving the system. But we probably should be looking to more innovative alternatives.”

“Unfortunately, moral posturing by our country’s bio-ethicists has done harm in preventing the adoption of alternatives proven to save lives in other countries.’’

Roughly 600 New Zealanders are waiting for organ transplants, mostly for kidneys. Last year there were 57 live donors - mostly friends and family - but just 38 deceased donors, 36 of whom donated following brain death.

According to 2010 Organ Donation New Zealand figures, of 18 developed countries, only Greece and Mexico had lower deceased organ donation rates than New Zealand, which had 8.7 donors per one million people. Spain had the highest rate at 32.

“There are a few reasons for New Zealand's relatively low organ donation rate. To start with, we don't have great awareness campaigns around organ donation.”

“To be eligible to be an organ donor, you have to be in an ICU bed when you die. Because the driver's licence scheme does not constitute informed consent, doctors feel the need to seek explicit family permission for organ donation at what is the worst possible time for families to be making that kind of decision. So it's no surprise that half of families asked decline that the deceased's organs be made available for transplant,’’ Dr Crampton said.

In contrast to New Zealand’s system, where the deceased’s wishes to be an organ donor can be overturned by family and friends, Spain’s high organ donation rates are encouraged by a system that presumes that the deceased agreed to be an organ donor unless he or she had previously registered an objection.

Israel’s priority system, which encourages organ donation by prioritising organ donors on the transplant wait list, has substantially increased the number of people in Israel willing to be organ donors.

Increased training to help intensive care unit nurses in dealing with traumatised families and encourage their consent to organ donation is a great first step and so are moves to compensate living donors for a greater proportion of their incurred costs of donation, but more fundamental change is needed to ensure donors’ wishes are respected and to increase donation rates, Dr Crampton said.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news