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Bill aims to address donor shortage

Jackie Blue MP National Party Associate Health Spokeswoman

24 February 2006

Bill aims to address donor shortage

National's Associate Health spokeswoman, Dr Jackie Blue, has this week placed a Member's Bill in the ballot for a proposed change to organ donor rules.

The Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill will use an informed consent 'opt on' database, where donors will be able to nominate organs they wish to donate.

"Anyone who has previously indicated a desire to donate organs on their driver licence will be invited to apply to go on to the database, which will be managed by the Ministry of Health," says Dr Blue.

"The bill proposes a law change that would prevent anyone from overturning the wishes of a registered organ donor. There is also provision for a public education programme about organ donation."

Dr Blue says she is concerned at the low number of organ donors in New Zealand and has collaborated with Andy Tookey from organ donor reform group GiveLife NZ in drafting the bill.

"The number of required organ transplants is projected to rise rapidly, especially given the Type 2 diabetes epidemic and an increase in the incidence of Hepatitis B and C.

"Though this bill will not be a cure-all for low donor rates, it is a step in the right direction. If the bill is enacted it will lead to increased donor rates and at the same time give people the right to have their wishes respected.

"Our hope now is that it is drawn from the ballot as quickly as possible so we can move forward in saving lives," says Dr Blue.

ENDS

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