The Herald reports:
Mr Tookey said problems with New Zealand’s driver licence database included that it left out non-drivers; willing donors thought saying yes on the licence was all they needed to do, so might omit the more important step of telling family; and in situations where a person’s body might be suitable for donation, hospital staff “refuse to check” the licence.
Organ Donation NZ, based at the Auckland District Health Board, has said staff consult the licence database only if a family asks, because many families already knew their relative’s wishes.
I’m staggered by this. It is almost as if they don’t want more organs. As an absolute minimum the database should be checked automatically if a patient is clinically suitable to donate, and the family informed of the patient’s declared wishes.
To only consult the database if the family proactively raise the issue is neglectful. No wonder our rate is so appallingly low.
I’m listed as a donor. Unless my family read this blog post I doubt they’d know my wishes. It isn’t something I’ve discussed with them, and I suspect the same is true for many families.
How can you expect a family to make an informed decision, when you won’t inform them of what the patient has previously said they want?