Howick and Pakuranga Times
Monday, January 22, 2007
Organ donations have hit a record low, according to figures released by the Australia and NZ Organ Donor Registry (ANZOD).
Just 25 organ donors were registered in New Zealand for 2006, down from the previous record low of 29 in 2005.
Prior to 2005, New Zealand averaged 40 organ donors a year, still considered low by international standards.
The figures places this country between Iceland and Mexico for the number of donors it has, at just six donors per million of population.
At the other end of the scale, Spain has 35 donors per million, the United States has 21 and the United Kingdom 10.7.
Up to 400 New Zealanders are on the ANZOD waiting list for organs and many more are waiting for transplantation of corneas, heart valves, bone or skin.
Some people will die while waiting for a heart, lung or liver.
Andy Tookey from GiveLife NZ has campaigned to reform the organ donation system for five years.
Presently family members of donors are asked for consent of organ donation at the time of death and the decision can be overturned.
Mr Tookey says low road tolls and improved medical care have improved critical care outcomes