Monday, January 14, 2008

Oi! Gordon! Keep your hands off my body!

Now, there are many good arguments for organ donations- least of all the saving of lives.
But UK prime minister Gordon Brown has proposed that it be made mandatory, that doctors assume there is consent, rather than checking to see if someone has a donor card or something.
However, should'nt organ donation remain voluntary?
Whose body is it anyway?
That of the deceased or the state?
Whatever we might say about Liarbour NZ being a party of thieves, at least they are not organ robbers, at least not yet, anyway!


Anonymous said...

Give em time. Our bodies belong to them. Don't they?

Anonymous said...

Here is a post I did on kiwiblog and a press release I sent out today. BTW Gordon Brown said there should be a public debate on the matter.

Shame I didn’t get to post on the organ donor thread, I was on holiday when the issue came up and then spent the entire holiday fielding calls and doing interviews on the topic.

I thought it interesting though that the organ donor service in their interviews are very against presumed consent as it means taking organs without your consent and then in the very same same interviews when asked why the promise of an organ donor register has now been abandoned they said it is because “we” are not capable of giving consent to be a donor… Having your cake and eating it comes to mind….

Maybe the UK system is too radical for NZ at present? Going from being the worst in the world for the number of donors to presumed consent in one leap maybe too fast.

It is an issue that needs to be publicly debated, there is a lot of misinformed comment going on around the issue. I note that those opposed to it in the media describe it as having your organs “ripped from your body” What makes people think the organs are “ripped from the body” rather than surgically removed just because we have changed the consent system? Melodramatic, emotive statements like these do not advance sensible debate on the issue.

The UK has 15 donors per million of population (PMP) and they see this as a need to stop people dying on the waiting list. NZ has 7 donors PMP. Maybe we need it more than them?

The main reason the MOH are against it here is because ’some’ people may not understand how to ‘opt out’ of being a donor and therefore become a donor even though they didn’t want to be. A couple of points here, many people don’t understand how gst works so maybe we should abandon that? There are many parallels…. The people they refer to as not being able to understand how to sign a piece of paper to opt off don’t seem to have any problem understanding and signing for multiple benefits…

If the people they refer to really don’t have the mental capacity to understand it then the chances are they are in a secure unit at the twilight home for the bewildered or are in the Green Party….

Next month I will be announcing a radical new proposal to increase the organ donor rate, something I’ve been working on for 2 years now, not quite as controversial as the presumed consent system, but certainly more palatable to NZ’s. Watch This Space!

Andy Tookey - GiveLife NZ -
MOH Organ Donation Stance Contradictory

Figures released this week by the Australia and New Zealand Organ Donation Registry reveal that although the organ donor rate for last year went up to 38 donors New Zealand was still the lowest in the Western World for the number of donors it has.

"The last time we had 38 donors was in 2002. Despite all the extra funding and rhetoric on fixing the problems we have had from the government we are exactly where we were 6 years ago, in the meantime the waiting list has doubled. In 2002 the waiting list for kidneys alone was 300, as of this week it stands at 606." said Andy Tookey of GiveLife NZ.

The donation registry further reveals that 361 people died whilst on dialysis last year. One woman has been on dialysis for 21 years, with a further 65 people on dialysis for 9 or more years.

The New Zealand organ donor service has rejected any move to follow British Prime Minister Gordon Brown's endorsement of a 'opt off' register as opposed to an 'opt on' one.

In recent media interviews Organ Donation New Zealand have said they are against an 'opt off register' as it would mean taking organs without the consent of the individual. In the same media interview they were against an 'opt on register' as they believe an individual is not capable of giving informed consent to being a donor..... Mr. Tookey is not surprised by the contradictions, "I am well used to the many differing stories that come out on this issue, it appears that they are clutching at straws."

GiveLife NZ will be introducing a new initiative to increase the organ donor rate next month. "It will be fairly controversial, but not as controversial as the presumed consent system currently being debated in the UK. The UK feel the need to use radical measures to increase their donor rate even though they have 15 donors per million of population compared with our 7 donors per million. If anything we need to take more radical measures than them but I am not sure Kiwis are ready for such a huge leap in one go."

National MP Dr.Jackie Blue issued a statement this week calling on the government to justify its stance against an organ donor register. In her media statement "Patients Pay for Labour's Petty Politics on organ donors" she says: "The current Labour Government clearly thinks that there isn't a problem with the availability of organs for transplant, but they should talk to patients on the waiting list."