The National Organ Donor Service needs sorting out

Andy Tookey is an effective campaigner for increasing organ donation rates in New Zealand. He has highlighted the barriers to increasing the rates such as the current practice where the National Organ Donor Service allow the wishes of family members to over-ride the explicit wishes of the deceased.

Radio NZ did a 28 minute special on Sunday into organ donation.

Fast forward to 18 minutes and 25 seconds where Radio NZ reveals that the National Organ Donor Service refused to be interviewed by Radio NZ if Andy Tookey was also interviewed. They went even further and demanded editorial control, saying that if Radio NZ even mentioned Andy Tookey or his group, then they would also refuse to be interviewed.

Radio NZ to their credit declined to submit to such outrageous demands, and hence the NODS were not part of the programme.

I am appalled that what is effectively a Government funded organisation will try and tell Radio NZ that they are not allowed to even mention Any Tookey or his group, because he is critical of our low donation rates.

This would be a very good story for Mediawatch!

But I think it is also an issue for the Government. While the NODS is not directly accountable to the Government (it is managed through the Auckland DHB), it is funded by taxpayers. The Minister should make it very clear to them that their behaviour is wrong, and should not be repeated.

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