Organ donation stats

July 26th, 2014 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

People from Wellington and Queenstown are more likely to indicate “yes” to on their driving licences, while those in Wairoa and Kawerau will probably say “no”.

Information provided by the NZ Transport Agency has revealed an almost even split when it comes to ticking the box and leaving it blank.

But drivers in certain regions are far more likely to say yes than others, and Queenstown-Lakes district residents have the highest proportion, with 66.2 per cent indicating they were organ donors.

Wellington was not far behind at 62 per cent, while Kapiti Coast was also high at 59.4 per cent.

At the other end of the scale, Wairoa recorded the lowest level, just 31.4 per cent indicating they were donors. Kawerau was just above at 33.7 per cent, while Opotiki was at 36.2 per cent.

I may be wrong, but I wonder of ethnicity has a significant impact on the donation stats. The towns at the bottom have a high proportion of Maori, and off memory some Maori believe that any interference with the body after (brain) death is wrong, so I would not be surprised.

But even with this indication, the final decision rests with a dead person’s family, who can decline the donation no matter what the licence says. In New Zealand, 1.75 million people say they are donors but last year only 36 families agreed to donate their loved ones’ organs.

Organ Donation NZ clinical director Stephen Streat said this was not because of an unwillingness to donate, but rather the strict criteria that must be met. …

About half the families faced with the decision agreed to donation – a proportion similar to the licence indication figures.

I think this may be misleading. I suspect those who do not indicate a willingness on their licence to be a donor do not even have their families asked, so this stat is really saying that giving families the ability to over-ride the wishes of the deceased reduces the donation rate by 50%.

While cultural beliefs have been suggested as affecting organ donation decisions, Streat said the focus was on each individual situation as it arose, and donation was offered to every eligible person.

“It’s not about religion, culture or ethnicity – it’s about individuals.”

I quite like the idea that priority for receiving organs goes to those who have indicated they would be a donor themselves.

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83 Responses to “Organ donation stats”

  1. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    I like the idea too, but … the problem is those most likely to need them are more likely to be those not willing to be donors.

    Cultural reasons and also maybe an awareness of their own poor health (kidney, liver, lung and heart difficulty).

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  2. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    The Southland Times had an editorial on this subject:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/opinion/10292717/Editorial-Sometimes-a-single-word-can-save-a-life

    And you are right. Moves to set up an organ donor register in NZ were blocked by Maori objections. Sharples effectively said that not just your family, but your culture has veto rights. And short of having a register open only to non-Maori, that means there can be no register because Maoridom says no.

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  3. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    I used to have a role asking relatives to sign consent for organ donation. I had 100% sign up by saying the following. ” As you know your son/daughter/relative is dead and no doubt you are expecting me to ask your permission to use their organs. I do NOT want to ask you to make such a decision. I only ask that that you think back and consider what your son/daughter/relative would have said if I could have asked them. Would they be generous and want to give what they can to bring life to others or would they never want to part with their organs. If they have ever said that they would donate or if they were a generous person and you know they would have agreed then I do not want you to make a decision. I simply ask you to tell me what their decision would have been. Then all you have to do is agree to carry out their last wish. You know them well. You know if they were generous and cared about others. You may have talked about this before. Tell me what they would have said……

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  4. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    SPC, I imagine it would be a matter of priority, rather than eligibility. If an organ was available and one person urgently needed it, they would still get it. Where two or more people were equally in need of the same organ, however, preference would go to somebody who had themselves agreed to be a donor.

    I suppose that in a sense this is fair enough. After all, it doesn’t seem quite right that, having decided not to donate your own kidney for ethical, religious or cultural reasons, you would then agree to be the beneficiary of somebody else violating those same sensibilities by being a donor.

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  5. gravedodger (1,566 comments) says:

    Agree with the principal SPC but many if not most recipient candidates are more than likely to be precluded as donors particularly for the organs in short supply.

    One place where things could be massively improved is ID, Consent, removal of Familial withdrawal of said consent and possibly an approved tattooed consent indication on chest or rib area.
    Many potential donors fall off because ventilating a badly damaged body with potential organs for harvest will fail due to death defeating consent confirmation and time. Maintaining a brain dead corpse for harvest will in many triage situations be prioritised beyond ventilation salvation to keep the bit alive so to say.
    Most brain dead accident victims and sudden deaths are not treated with organ harvest as a protocol. ventilation and circulation augmentation needs to begin without delay, aint gonna happen.

    For evidence as to what I am suggesting as a layman is how the survival curve flattens when CPR is delayed or denied in cardiac arrests.

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  6. SPC (5,619 comments) says:

    Liam Hehir, would there be exemptions for those whose organs were not of a fit state for donation? Many of those in ill health needing a transplant have health problems greater than the one organ that is failing and would not be suitable donors (and would know it).

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  7. Liam Hehir (125 comments) says:

    SPC, the preference would be granted to those who had expressed agreed to be a donor if needed. The actual fitness of their organs for donation would be an entirely unrelated matter.

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  8. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    There is a crying need for law change in this area…IMO is it fundamentally wrong that your executor can countermand your expressed wishes in this regard…the necessary law change is very minor: an amendment to the Wills Act which makes it clear that the deceased’s stated wishes with regard to organ donation take precedence over whatever the executor or anyone else might think..

    Yes, that will give rise to a few Maori kicking up a fuss because their relatives have stated wishes contrary to their – the executors’ – cultural beliefs…but so what? The 75% of non Maori/Asian who die each year could wipe out the kidney transplant waiting list in a couple of years…No brainer stuff…

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  9. peterwn (3,271 comments) says:

    I doubt there will be a change – too many sensitivities, especially among Maori.

    To answer a point David made, should a family member give up rights as a family member merely because he or she is an executor of a will? If a will maker has concerns in this area he or she should appoint a professional or friend as executor.

    Personally I consider the deceased’s wishes should be paramount, but it will not happen.

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  10. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    peterwn: I think you are a member of the Brotherhood of the High One aren’t you??

    As you know, most testators – unless they are prompted by their lawyer – give little or no thought at all to what their executor might think…I – and probably you – have ascertained that our executors will follow our wishes to the very best of their ability…

    I don’t agree with you that change won’t/can’t happen..We probably just need to ignore Maori “concerns” – they are an insignificant proportion of the population anyway – and just do what is quite obviously sensible…If the odd Maori wants to go to the High Court and argue that their Uncle’s kidneys and corneas should rot with the rest of him, so what? There is far too much legislative pandering to “Maori concerns”…

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  11. Fisiani (1,039 comments) says:

    Could whoever gave me a thumbs down possibly explain why.

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  12. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

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  13. Maggy Wassilieff (393 comments) says:

    Anyone is welcome to my bits…whether for organ donation or just to chop up and have a squiz.
    Although I have specifically identified myself as an organ donor and have told everyone in earshot that they are pull the plug if I’m on life-support, I’m not confident that my wishes will be followed.
    I never considered these matters when I got hitched… I just assumed the husband would share my views on these matters. But he doesn’t…. He thinks Drs are vultures.

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  14. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Fisiani: You are relatively new here…Never get upset about idiots giving you thumbs down… I get thumbs down for observing it is a lovely spring day out here…lambs in the fields and daffodils sprouting…You can get thumbs down for any stupid reason or none at all…

    Maggy: Are you aware that you don’t necessarily need to appoint your husband as your executor?? Talk to a lawyer you trust..

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  15. Recidivist_offender (28 comments) says:

    Organ donation? That sounds a bit socialist and leftist to me. Im selling mine. My family can take the proceeds.

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  16. Maggy Wassilieff (393 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett….. I s’pose I’m thinking in terms of who has authority when the person is still alive….. I thought next-of-kin would be consulted by the medicos first.

    A lawyer I trust? Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

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  17. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Maggy: the only person who has any authority when you are still alive is someone to whom you have given what is known as an Enduring Power of Attorney…basically a common or garden Power of Attorney (an authority to act on your behalf) but one that cannot be rescinded when you become gaga and decide that you should leave all your assets to the pool boy…

    Next of kin have no legal status if there is a valid will…All of this should be altered and made crystal clear…

    A lawyer you trust? there are about 6000 of us holding practising certificates…you can trust the vast majority of them…but don’t take my word for it – consult your friends and relatives and ask for a recommendation…

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  18. tas (625 comments) says:

    I have told my wife that, if my organs get donated, I want it to be on the condition that the recipient has indicated a willingness to be a donor too. Unfortunately, I understand that the policy is to ignore such wishes and organs must be donated unconditionally.

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  19. mara (784 comments) says:

    This topic is old, stale and goes no where. My husband had a heart transplant 20 years ago, he is still well. Well, wellish… There were plenty of Maori people on the waiting like like him, waiting for a donor, but very few Maori donors. They receive but do not give.

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  20. Harriet (4,970 comments) says:

    Body parts are an inheritance – to the general public – but not to the family?. Get stuffed.

    Well they should be sold instead. Because the National government will soon be doing it.
    Chinese people will in the future be offering big money for body parts – and the current National government should not value voters as having zero worth when dead! The cost of retirement and healthcare is almost unaffordable and people should have the legal choice to sell their parts when dead. Why do you think Key loves the idea of having no one smoke by 2025? Because there is no money in it?!!!!!

    Kerry Packers jets were always on stand-by for organs to be transported around Australia and NZ. But that is a private matter and a charitable deed and organ ‘donation’ itself is also, yet that is entirely different to the government then ‘trading in those organs with other countries by default’ – say Tonga ect via ‘assistance programmes’. They probably already do so. Or which will of course happen very soon.
    Then with China – because the size of trade at stake between countries is huge – supply and demand will dictate that. Money talks.
    You should be allowed to sell body parts when the government will be trading in them in the foreseeable future.

    Persoanly I think it is disgusting but it does take care of a few matters – people’s health for one will improve, and it is a form of passing on wealth, and is less of a burdon on fellow taxpayers.

    But National will deny all that. “There’s no slippery slope.” lol.

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  21. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Doctors are highly unlikely to go ahead with body dissection for the harvesting of organs, even if the dying has recorded their wishes on their drivers license and in their will. If the family are opposed, or even some of the family are opposed, doctors usually err on the side of caution, and refuse to carry out the procedure.

    For that reason it is really important to not just record your wishes, but to discuss them with your family and loved ones, and try to come to a consensus that will allow them to deal with your death with dignity, and also to be able to grieve without having to feel guilt that some experience when organs are removed and the body ‘butchered’. Even then, all too often at the time when decisions must be made, family are unable to give permission. It is after all they who must cope with loss, and the memories and therefore they are the most affected by the decision.

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  22. Maggy Wassilieff (393 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett..re Power of Attorney…Tx….
    re Lawyers… I was being facetious…. have just sold Wn house and bought in Gisborne.. faultless service from an Auckland-based lawyer.

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  23. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Ah Judith! Back from grading “annotated bibliographies”…do tell me what they are…

    Why should the family have a greater say than you yourself over what happens to your body? Please do explain…They have of course lost you…but you have lost life itself, which IMO is a far more fundamental thing…

    Maggy: In that case, make a new will appointing the lawyer who has given you good service as your executor…and in a separate document clearly express your wishes as to what should happen to your bits…If he is any kind of lawyer he will almost welcome a challenge from your family…

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  24. Steve (North Shore) (4,561 comments) says:

    I’m donating my organs to science – preserving them in alcohol now

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  25. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    “when organs are removed and the body ‘butchered’.”

    Judith clearly has no idea what happens during a Post-Mortem examination (Which is odd considering she is an expert on everything under the Sun..) which is going to happen if you pop your clogs suddenly anyway!
    You get hacked to bits.
    Might as well be a Donor! Unless you die peacefully at the age of 101 you are highly likely to get chopped up anyway…

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  26. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (6,364 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    I am not saying the family should have a greater say than yourself, but that is how it is dealt with by the medical profession.

    There is a strong argument, it is my body, and I can do what I damn well please with it – which I can associate with, however, I can also associate with grief, and loss, and how memories are very important when losing a loved one. I am more than happy for my organs to be donated and used to enrich someone elses life, however, I am most responsible to my loved ones, and if doing that would be just too hard for them, and cause them excessive heartache, then I would not want that either.

    Fortunately I’ve had this discussion with my children, and they know my feelings, and we’ve talked openly about death, and beyond. They know that memories are important, and that I wish them to concentrate on memories of my life, and not my death (or the circumstances involved with that).

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  27. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    ‘Knives: Yes…I read a comment from a doctor the other day…in an article in The Listener IIRC…he described autopsies as “Nasty messy things…”…and of course courtesy of American TV we know that he is right…I lost my closest friend to a heart attack 18 months ago…Immediately after his death I was already doing the legal research to resist an autopsy on behalf of his wife, expecting she would think like me…only to find that that is what she wanted to happen…and she was a nurse, so knew exactly what it entailed…You can never predict what your loved ones will do after you’re gone…

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  28. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David

    Sorry, the annotated bibliography is just like a normal bibliography, however, each entry has a small paragraph or two that summarizes the article, and in this particular case, to provide a brief evaluation of the reading. It’s mostly to check that they are completing their readings and have some understanding of the issues being discussed.

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  29. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Longknives (4,434 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 6:33 pm

    I know exactly what happens Longknives, which is why I put ‘butchered’ – to indicate that it is often considered to be butchering, but in fact, there is usually no outward signs of the operations, unless one was to strip the body of clothing. Had I meant actual butchering, I would not have put the ‘ ‘.

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  30. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Judith: So the “annotated bibliography” is basically a test to check they have read the article/book in question… but without the need to make any argument based upon it?

    Pretty much as I thought then…

    Do they still ask for essays in Academia where one is required to make an argument supported by sources? Or is that considered too hard these days??

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  31. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (6,367 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I guess it depends on the particular discipline, but we certainly ask for essays with a relevant argument that MUST be supported and various sources cited. Undergraduates, whilst able to express an opinion, must be able to support it – they are not generally considered able to present their own thesis – although there is some flexibility, it is highly unlikely for them to do that, at least in the first two years of a degree – some will attempt it in the third year, but its a risk.

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  32. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Judith: 500 words saying absolutely nothing…I had a six year uni career (you can do two undergraduate degrees in 5 years, but you must start them both at the same time, and I didn’t)

    So tell me what these “annotated bibliographies” are supposed to establish…that the undergrad has read the source? that they are making an argument based on the source(s)?

    If it’s not one of the above I can’t imagine what it might mean…(but then unlike you I only have an honours degree in law…)

    I have just read your response again…I recall at stage one being asked to make an argument supported by sources…is that no longer the case?? Are they just supposed to parrot what they have read??

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  33. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @David Garrett (6,369 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:11 pm

    The annotated bibliography must include an evaluation of the reading. Therefore there are two components, firstly that they have identified the key concepts being discussed, and secondly, they must evaluate those concepts. Generally they are to make sure they have not only read the articles but they understand and can begin to formulate an opinion on what is being promoted.

    They are also good for students to keep as an accessible source for essay research etc.

    Regarding ‘parroting’ – no, they are not meant to parrot – but are expected to present an argument in their essays. For example, if the essay was on this particular subject, organ donation, they would be expected to research the particular theoretical arguments pertaining to the subject, identify the key aspects and provide both sides of the argument. An A grade essay will then provide some personal synthesis on which stance is more pertinent and why (using sources to support that).

    I do have to say, I am generally unimpressed with the level of essay skills demonstrated. Students generally seem unwilling or unable to form an argument in undergraduate levels – they simply parrot what they have studied – I blame the NCEA standards, not preparing year 13 students for tertiary study, but some argue that the university should spend time teaching those skills. I believe that the University is for the dissemination of knowledge and that the practicalities of writing etc, should be gained before undertaking tertiary study.

    I’ll add to that, the university has very much become about making money, rather than academia. Degrees in ‘anything’ have undermined what I regard as the true purpose of the University.

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  34. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    How surprising Judith…it appears we agree on something…

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  35. Unity (584 comments) says:

    The biggest users of organs are those of Maori descent but they refuse to donate organs. Hardly fair in my view, to put it mildly. What do people think of doing it another way? All organs are up for grabs unless someone has specifically stated they don’t want to donate an organ – say on their drivers licence or in a Will. There is a huge demand for organs and it seems such a waste that people who have perfectly good organs that would help a living person, aren’t having them taken because they haven’t said they agree.

    Because we don’t have euthanasia in this country I doubt that anything negarious would go on with regard to the taking organs. As far as I’m concerned they can have whatever they want of mine, if they are of any use to anyone and I’ve put on my drivers license and in my Will.

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  36. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (6,370 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:29 pm

    ;-) I think you’d fine we agree on many things David, but both are too hot headed to back down. Tis the curse of the baby boomer – never give up!

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  37. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    No Judith…I think you are a terminally silly bitch who occasionally makes some sense…sorry to be so “hot headed”…

    While you of course have opined that I am ” a fucking bully”…

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  38. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    Not even one uptick for Gary Gilmore’s eyes? This is a tough crowd…

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  39. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    If Auckland DHB hadn’t deleted my OIA request for organ donation files the other week I may have been able to answer a few of the questions!

    The NZ Herald article on Monday this week explains it in more detail:

    ‘DHB CAUGHT DELETING PUBLIC RECORDS:’

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11296853

    So, 44% of drivers do not have donor on their licence.
    What percentage of them would ACCEPT an organ in order to live, or ACCEPT one when their child needs one. It seems everyone wants the resources but are unwilling to contribute to them.

    I took several petitions to Parliament to improve donor rates – they were rejected – Tariana Turia, at Select Committee told me ‘I had no respect for Maori culture.’ To which I replied ‘I find it hard to respect a culture that says it’s adherents can accept organs but not give them.’

    I worked with National MP Jackie Blue on a Private Members Bill that would have introduced a binding register. You could (1) register as a donor (2) not be a donor (3) defer decision to my next of kin. Family would not be able to over-rule your wishes.

    Equally important is I want(ed) an ‘online’ organ donor register. Family could all sit around the computer, find out the pros/cons, ask questions and register online, they would know each others wishes so less likely to object should it ever come to that. As a database you would be able to change your mind as often as you wish and decide which organs or not you wish to donate. Banking & Census is online, why not a register? (All were rejected.)

    Currently you stand in a line at an AA Centre in your lunch break for a new licence, not even thinking of organ donation until you get to the counter. No chance to find out more about it at that stage or discuss it with your family before ticking or not the box…

    What about non drivers?

    Time to revamp our system. No wonder NZ has the lowest organ donor rate in the Western World…

    Time for me to petition Parliament again?

    I did set up a private organ donor register called LifeSharers where you could nominate that your organs should be offered FIRST to other registered organ donors, thus increasing the number of donors.

    This went down like a bag of sick and the organ donor service rejected it, even to the extent that they said they would reject those organs. i.e they would prefer to throw your organs in the trash than save the lives of up to ten people because YOU should NOT be able to decide where YOUR organs go…

    Andy
    GiveLife NZ

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  40. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ David Garrett (6,372 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    I didn’t say I’d like you as a person David, I do think you are a bully – either intentionally or just because it is often a default setting for many men – but I often agree with your stance on various issues – you don’t have to like a person, to agree with them – I try very hard not to let my individual personal feelings about someone, affect my opinion on the topic being discussed, I’m not always successful, but I believe each topic should be taken on its own merits.

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  41. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    “The biggest users of organs are those of Maori descent but they refuse to donate organs”

    Indeed, apparently it has something to do with their stone age superstitions.

    Given that, it should be possible for one to leave their organs to anybody BUT Maori, of course this would be considered terribly racist.

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  42. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    Jesus Judith- Do you and David need to get a room?
    Let’s just get back to insulting each other eh?

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  43. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Longknives (4,440 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:43 pm

    You are joking? It would be a national disaster to have me and mr G in the same building, let alone same room!! Still for a man he occasionally makes the odd bit of sense – actually I think you did the other day too – clearly I need medicating – fancy agreeing with you on something!! :P

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  44. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    “Fancy agreeing with you on something!!”

    Nah- Couldn’t have been me….Must have been Pete George.

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  45. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    BTW – I wrote a column in the NZ Herald as far back as 2005 on giving organ donors priority over non donors read it here:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10118661

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  46. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (13,241 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:41 pm

    There was a study conducted by Rhonda Shaw on organ donation in NZ (2010) discussing the various cultural positions. It appears it is not only Maori that have issue, but also several religions disagree with the practice.
    “Organ Donation in Aotearoa/NewZealand: Cultural Phenomenology and Moral Humility” (Shaw:2010) – not sure if it is on the net or not.

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  47. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ Longknives (4,441 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:47 pm

    Nope, it was certainly you – I almost consulted an exorcist afterwards, thinking I might have been possessed by some sort of evil spirit! :P

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  48. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    Judith

    “David, I do think you are a bully – either intentionally or just because it is often a default setting for many men”

    FFS!!!

    You are better than that Judith, stop hiding behind the usual defence of the feminist (or lefty) when cornered, you are trying to silence somebody who is besting you in debate by claiming to feel “threatened” or “offended’. The example in which you use this pathetic defence is even more low rent in that you chuck in the obligatory comment designed to silence men. For your information being a bully is not “the default setting for many men” at all.

    Mount a better counter argument or admit that you have lost, but please, don’t resort to the defence of the feeble minded by claiming something there is absolutely no evidence for.

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  49. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Judith,
    I have no problem with any religion not being donors as long as they are consistent and don’t accept them either.
    No donors=no recipients either.

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  50. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    Judith

    Re Organ Donation.

    You miss my point entirely. The issue here is that Maori are the biggest recipients of organs. When your race or ethnicity is such a high user then you simply cannot morally mount an argument in defence of your stone age superstition.

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  51. Longknives (4,744 comments) says:

    “No donors=no recipients either.”

    Mate you’re clearly not taking the “Maori World View” into account….

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  52. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (13,242 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    I was joking about the male part BB, Bullies exist in both sexes, I was just trying to make him bite, but you took the bait instead

    . If you’ve read my comments you’ll know I’m no feminist – I have no desire to be equal with men. We are different sexes, each with their own special traits. I firmly believe that it is only when we learn to appreciate that difference, and each respect the others peculiarities, that men and women will ever get over the damage that feminist discourse has done to the joint relationship.

    However, I do think DG is a bully in his attitude – I can be posting my views on a topic and he frequently turns it personal – and drags all sorts of insults into it that have nothing to do with the subject in question or anything I’ve said in that thread. He seems to have ‘remembered’ every post I’ve ever made and everything I’ve ever said – I find that freaky – I have trouble remembering what anyone said yesterday on here, let alone last week or months ago. I’ve tried explaining to him why that freaks me out – that just seems to make him worse.

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  53. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ BB

    I have no problem with that argument. Maori feature high in statistics for renal failure and therefore require more transplants, however, their cultural values frown at the removal of organs from the dead, so it creates a problem – as you have pointed out.

    I understand the problems, if you believe in the spiritual aspect, that’s fair enough – for some spiritual beliefs are very strong – however, I would expect people who believed that strongly to also find receiving an organ from a dead person to be just as taboo, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    Clearly there needs to be some form of defining point regarding this whole issue, as it stands, it doesn’t seem fair.

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  54. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    Judith

    I am impressed at how quickly you managed to engage reverse gear, clearly you don’t drive an automatic. DG is well and truly able to speak for himself, and, far more eloquently than I can. However if I might mount one small argument in his favour it would be this. Given the amount of shit that man has had thrown his way over the past four or five years is it any wonder that he bites on the odd occasion?

    The way DG has been persecuted by the scum from the left is criminal, yes DG made a mistake, but its not as if his mistake was seen running through the streets of Haitaitai naked was it?

    Some from the right like to think that we are better than the vermin from the left, I know I do, however it will not stop me pissing all over the grave of any lefty who falls foul of the system, I work on the basis that the bastard might as well learn what it is like when they do it to one of ours.

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  55. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    This thing where the Maoris like to be buried ‘intact.’ That’s why they don’t want to be donors.

    However that argument always goes out the window when it’s in their interest. I.e they have their tonsils out, mastectomies, kidney’s out, some put in, and various other items surgically removed during their lifetime…

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  56. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (13,245 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I don’t think the left/right divide is that easy. I have people I love very much who are strong right supporters, and I also have some from the left. As you well know – not every leftie is a low down criminal, and not all righties are shining stars. Political lines are very blurred – and most seem to support a mix of political beliefs.

    I’m a leftie, but I am very much against our current welfare system – which I blame for many of the problems we have in society. I don’t like strong feminist values, but don’t like the fact that women are over represented in violence statistics.

    I think life is a little more complex that dividing people into two groups based on politics – maybe it was once, but not now. People are more than politics to me – most people are innately good as far as I’m concerned.

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  57. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    Judith

    You’ve just earned an uptick from me. :)

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  58. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (13,247 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    I’m sending the police to breath test you !! Clearly you’re blind drunk and not reading my posts correctly :P (joke) or maybe we’re not all that different – this internet thingy can be quite confusing and difficult to read people on at times.

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  59. big bruv (13,888 comments) says:

    Judith

    I have not touched a drop in eight months. Having said that if I was going to get blind drunk it would have been at about 4.00pm today when a might injustice was served upon the worlds greatest rugby team.

    I plan to stay sober until September 20th when I will get plastered and rejoice in Labour and the stinking Greens being resigned to another long three years in opposition.

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  60. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ big bruv (13,249 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 8:33 pm

    I already know what the results on the 20th will be – so I’ve done my grieving! I’m now, believe it or not praying for my second choice, which is a clean National win – I fear another National coalition that would involve Maori, Conservatives, and possibly even NZ1. I believe all minor partners would come at such a huge cost, this country will suffer immensely. I’d rather see Key win outright, than have the alternative. (But I still won’t vote for him!)

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  61. Maggy Wassilieff (393 comments) says:

    @ Tookinator… the reason I would not stipulate that my bits went only to someone signed up as an organ donor is that the organs/tissues/cells etc could go to a child or youth who has not yet made a decision about organ donation.

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  62. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    Unity (282 comments) says:

    July 26th, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Re: Maori taking organs (presumably from other ethnicities) and not giving in their turn I understood that there were physiological? reasons why Polynesians should/could only receive from their own ethnicity. Wasn’t Jonah a case in point?

    Organ and Tissue Donation 101 – The Office of Minority …

    minorityhealth.hhs.gov/templates/content.aspx?ID=3123

    Organ and Tissue Donation 101. … Generally, people are genetically more similar to people of their own ethnicity or race than to people of other races.

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  63. Unity (584 comments) says:

    Children excluded, I think the only people who should receive organs should be those who would also willingly donate theirs. If it is against their beliefs to donate, then they shouldn’t expect to receive because that should also be against their beliefs. They can’t have it both ways surely.

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  64. Steve (North Shore) (4,561 comments) says:

    How much money does the scrap metal man get for the titanium plates and screws in my neck?

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  65. Nukuleka (325 comments) says:

    The usual examples of sheer playground nastiness in evidence on this post: ‘I’m not going to let you play with my dolly if you don’t let me play with yours’. Sad that there are so many people who would deprive people of a chance of a second chance through receiving donor organs because they haven’t indicated that they are body donors themselves. Why are there folk posting on this blog whose natures seem to be more aligned to the people-haters over at The Standard?

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  66. goldnkiwi (1,304 comments) says:

    I believe the ethnicity factor also applies to blood donations.

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  67. RF (1,397 comments) says:

    Steve (North Shore). 9.24pm.

    I know our local crematorium takes their left over hip and knee joints etc to the local scrap metal dealer as soon as the bin is full. Not sure of the going rate. I am hanging onto my metal bits and pieces for a few more years.

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  68. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    @maggy.
    Children were excluded under my proposal.

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  69. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    @goldnkiwi

    Yep, the jehonah witness’s reject blood, but at least they are consistent. I.e. they won’t give or accept.
    Saying that , some have had liver transplants in nz….

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  70. mara (784 comments) says:

    My husband had a heart transplant 20 years ago. That gave us a married life, gave our daughter a father, gave him years of life and dignity working and we marvel to this day that he is here and well.

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  71. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Tookinator (210 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 8:18 pm
    This thing where the Maoris like to be buried ‘intact.’ That’s why they don’t want to be donors.

    However that argument always goes out the window when it’s in their interest. I.e they have their tonsils out, mastectomies, kidney’s out,…

    From reading that article I quoted above, I see it is not just about being buried intact. When Maori (some, not all) have organs removed for health reasons, they bury them, i.e. return them to the whenua. A practice connected to their spirituality. Those beliefs were developed in ancient times, as were many Christian and other religions. In times when there was no suggestion of organ transplants keeping a person alive.

    Like many religions, and spiritual beliefs, people are having to deal with historical guidelines, and modern practices – in many situations they simply do not gel well. Organ transplants being just one of them.

    For people that don’t have any strong religious or spiritual beliefs, its hard to understand, but research shows that for those who are devout, extreme mental torment can result in having to take part in something like this. I believe that Maori are coming to terms with it, and there has been a drive among Maori to find a way of being able to deal with the situation, by way of pleasings – by honouring the donor, pleasing the organ, and recipient. Encouraging Maori to become donors, but agreeing to bless the organs in a manner that addresses their spiritual needs. I guess whatever it takes to make all involved feel better and free up more organs to save lives.

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  72. Crusader (314 comments) says:

    Nukuleka (205 comments) says:
    July 26th, 2014 at 9:26 pm

    The usual examples of sheer playground nastiness in evidence on this post: ‘I’m not going to let you play with my dolly if you don’t let me play with yours’. Sad that there are so many people who would deprive people of a chance of a second chance through receiving donor organs because they haven’t indicated that they are body donors themselves. Why are there folk posting on this blog whose natures seem to be more aligned to the people-haters over at The Standard?

    No, not nastiness, just ignorance of medical ethics.

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  73. CharlieBrown (1,012 comments) says:

    Hmmm – If John Key got rid of the maori seats and didn’t pander to the racist party he may have had no issues getting past a law that allowed people the right to decide over their own bodies. Going against people own wishes over their own body to pander to stone-age cultural beliefs is pathetic.

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  74. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Andy T: I am a little puzzled why you post on a blog using a pseud, but then link to an article in your own name…

    But that’s by way of an aside…I am hugely admiring of the work you do…as I think I have said, I would have adopted your cause as one of mine if I had had the chance to…

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  75. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    David,

    Think the pseud came from the very beginning (some years now on kiwiblog) just never got round to changing it. Am always open as to my real identity when posting anywhere.
    Hope there will be a new MP at the end of the year who will adopt the cause. It’s hugely tiring doing it all on my own!

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  76. wf (441 comments) says:

    Modern medicine has brought problems hasn’t it?

    I often think that while organ transplantation is an interesting and challenging aspect of medicine, it’s an expensive ‘nice to have’ option but which society now seems to demand as of right.

    in my opinion, legislation should be kept out of it, unless it becomes automatic that every ‘body’ can be used, without interference from its next of kin. But human nature being what it is there would then be some complaining that they threw grand dad out!

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  77. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Andy: did you ever contact me when I was an MP?? If you did I can’t recall, and I am sorry I never got back to you…although the need for an organ transplant has never affected my family (yet) it is to me, as I said, one of those “no brainer” causes…It is an absolute scandal that every year literally thousands of bodies turn to compost when their former owners expressed strong wishes that parts of them be “recycled”…

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  78. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Pretty sure I would have contacted you. I contacted most MP’s on a weekly basis since 2001.
    (Now 2014 and we still have the same donor rates as back then – meanwhile many countries have doubled their rates. Some by doing what I was suggesting ten years ago…

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  79. David Garrett (7,272 comments) says:

    Andy: In that case, I am sorry I didn’t do more to help…Just a hint though…contacting MP’s on a weekly basis gets you put into the “nut file” by the MP’s EA (Parliament speak for PA)..

    Much better to do it six monthly…

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  80. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    I bought a book writteb by an ex mp on ‘how to lobby’ MP’s which i followed the advice on, later. Ib the beggining yep, too much & was probably put in the junk email folder…
    In fact, i got a stroppy email from Richard Prebble one time telling me not to email him.

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  81. Tookinator (221 comments) says:

    Sorry for spelling etc. Trying to do this on my phone whilst in bar…
    Btw, know any lawyer who’d do pro bono on the dhb deleting records after an oia has been submitted as per the nz herald article i posted previously? Need to send them a message!

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  82. burt (8,269 comments) says:

    If anyone is culturally against donating organs and refuses to accept them for themselves or their family if they would save their life then good on them. But you can’t have it both ways. Furthermore, if cultural leaders give cultural rights of veto over donating then they should impose cultural restrictions on reviving donated organs.

    You can’t have it both ways.

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  83. fruitshop (45 comments) says:

    1. Make it opt-out instead of opt-in. Or even compulsory.

    2. Change name from ‘organ donation’ because ‘donation’ implies unconditional giving, and most people commenting are against unconditional giving.

    3. People who need organ transplants – I don’t think their organs usable to anyone else are they?

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