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Organ Donor Fairness

Organ Donor Fairness

Monday 23 Feb 2004 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Health

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today proposed that organ donorship be encouraged by a simple law change, an idea he believes would be good to discuss at ACT's conference in Christchurch in the next fortnight.

"ACT believes in freedom and responsibility. People are free to not donate, but they should then lose their moral claim to receive organs - it's fairness: people shouldn't expect others to do for them what they will not do for others," Mr Franks said.

"Non-donors should not be denied a transplant, but should go to the bottom of the list. Those who are prepared to contribute should get priority. Many donors may be so generous-spirited they do not mind their organs going to someone who wouldn't reciprocate - so people who will only take, but not give, will still get a chance.

"The Government proposes a typical Labour response to the donor shortage - a `public education campaign' and a new national agency. Simple reassertion of the reciprocity at the base of any healthy community would be more effective than expensive advertising.

"The same approach might do wonders for our blood transfusion service - but still do more harm than good. We all have an interest in restoring sick people to health as soon as possible.

"The principle is important. Our current welfare system rewards the takers who never give. I hope the proposal will be debated for what it says about the general principles that preserve and develop generosity. This is not an issue affecting only the small numbers involved in organ transplants at present," Mr Franks said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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