Six in 10 families refused to donate an eligible loved one's organs last year, the highest rejection rate in the world according to one campaigner.
File Picture.Source: istock.com
Organ donation was possible for 367 deaths last year according to GiveLife NZ but organ donation was only discussed with the family in 135 instances, or 37 per cent of the time.
The number of remaining potential donors shrinks further when families have their say with 61 per cent saying no.
Overall, there were just 53 donors in New Zealand in 2015.
In order for an organ donation to be possible, two separate sets of brain death assessments need to be carried out by doctors.
Organ donation is then discussed with the family.
"It turns out that three of the 53 donors didn't actually donate any organs to anyone so the figures are massaged upwards to make a very, very poor system look like just a very poor system," organ donation campaigner Andy Tookey said.
"It must be clearly understood: New Zealand will never have a world-class donation and transplantation service if more than six out of every 10 families say no to donation."New Zealand is in the lower half of organ donors according to the international registry of organ donation and transplantation IRODaT.
No wonder the hospital and doctors were very grateful when I consented to donate Andrew's body for science. Every now and then, they came to ask me if I had changed my mind.
When we finally handed Andrew's dead body, the nursing manager took Andrew and said,"On behalf of the hospital, I thank you for Andrew."
It was only much later, I learn that people didn't want to give their loved ones' body.
And why did I agreed to give away Andrew's body? I rationalised that Andrew was no use to me, I might as well let him be useful to Science.
Did I regret?
I did for a while because I had to give him up when I wanted to spend more time with him, and also I was counseled not to view him because they would have cut him up and it would be too gruesome to view him.