Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Bill a "Slap in the Face" for Your Right To Choice


7 November 2006

Organ Donation - Government Bill a Slap in the Face for Your Right To Choice

"The Human Tissue Bill put forward today by the Government's Health Minister, Pete Hodgson shows how out of touch he is with the wishes of the majority of New Zealanders." Says GiveLife NZ Spokesman Andy Tookey.

Minister Hodgson in his press release said: "The Labour led Government has taken a major step forward in addressing New Zealand's low rate of organ donation."

But Andy Tookey of GiveLife NZ states: "This review has taken five years to get off the ground and complete with many unnecessary deaths in the meantime.

Further scrutiny of the Bill shows that after all this time what he is actually announcing is a 'status quo.' He then re-announces a previous announcement on an organ donor register but fails to mention that the Government rejected a register twice in the past, and only did a U-Turn because of mounting public pressure."

"If anything they are announcing a major step backwards by still allowing families - even distant relatives the opportunity of overturning a donors' express wish.
What is the point of establishing a new organ donor 'consent' register when, just like the driving licence it will mean nothing if others can overturn your wish?" Said Tookey.

The Government bill allows for a family veto as Pete Hodgson says it is for "the cultural and spiritual needs of the family." Mr.Tookey argues that "If the person signing up as a donor has no qualms about their cultural or spiritual needs, then it is not up to others to invoke 'their' culture or religion upon their relative after their death. If people don't want to be a donor because of their culture, or for any other reason, that's fine they just don't sign up on the register, But forcing the culture card on every other person in the country so that their wishes may be overturned by other who felt they owned them is not what 80% of the population want according to a Colmar Brunton Poll.

Dr.Jackie Blue MP currently has a Private Members Bill in front of the Health Select Committee. The proposed register would allow people to sign on the register as donors. It would also allow people to elect not to be a donor in any circumstances. A third option would be for the individual to 'defer the decision to their family.'
All options would be legally binding.

Mr.Tookey says, "This covers everybody and ensures their wishes are carried out whether they want to be a donor or do not want to be a donor, or do not even want to think about it, at least it is their autonomous decision, not the Government's proposal which replaces an individual's decision made whilst in sound and calm mind with one that favours the emotionally fraught decision of a relative made in a time of deep distress, and often with no, or little background knowledge."

• In an audit of organ donations in New Zealand it revealed that 45% of families say no to their relative being a donor.
• 43 US States have enacted a law that family members can not veto the wish of a registered donor
• 26 European Countries have the same Law
• Australia and the UK have recently enacted the same law
• Last year NZ had its lowest ever recorded number of organ donors - Just 29 donors
• This year to date the number of donors is even lower than our lowest ever rate of last year
• Around 400 people are on the transplant waiting list at any time
• 400 is not the number of people who would benefit from a transplant that runs into thousands. Just 400 make it onto the list.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced


Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>


Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>


Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>


Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>


Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>


Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election