New Zealand is the fifth country to be a part of the online
project that has been initiated to increase awareness regarding organ donation
and to motivate the public to become registered organ donors. Other countries
that are already a part of this project are United States, United Kingdom,
Australia and the Netherlands. New Zealand's health Ministry and Organ Donation
New Zealand have approved of this initiative.
However, Organ Donation New Zealand expressed its concern
over the generic wording regarding organ donation used on Facebook, which it
believed may create confusion.
"New Zealand does not have a donor register, if you do
express that you would like to be an organ donor on Facebook, remember to also
have a discussion with your family," clinical director of Organ Donation
New Zealand, Stephen Streat, said." Because this is a global initiative,
the wording may lead people to believe that they are a registered organ
People who display
their donor status on their Facebook page must make their wishes very clear to
their family members, he added.
"In New Zealand you can currently register your wishes
on your driver's licence. However, like the new tool on Facebook, this is an
indication of your wishes. It is important to also have this conversation with
your family so they know what you want should you ever be in a situation where
organ donation is possible." "It is important to remember that fewer
than 1 percent of people die in situations where organ donation is possible. An
organ donor must be on a ventilator in an intensive care unit and have fatal
brain damage," Streat said.
NZ Health Minister Tony Ryall announced earlier on that an
extra $4 million would be spent spreading awareness and encouraging more
people. Half of this money would go towards training intensive care health
professionals to identify prospective donors in dying patients and to provide
greater support to their families, said the minister. A further $250,000 will
be spent on looking into the establishment of a national donor exchange scheme
and about $1.75 million will go to support and enhance live organ donation.
Although 186 people benefited from organ transplants in New
Zealand last year, there are many more waiting for their turn, and this
includes 600 people needing kidney replacements alone.
India, the Government passed the 'Transplantation of Human Organs Act' in the
year 1994 that legalized brain death and facilitated the procurement of organs
from brain- dead donors. However, the concept of organ donation has not been
well received among the public for want of education and awareness. This void
between demand and supply is perpetrating the unethical commercial sale of
human organs, even as thousands of lives are lost annually.
A brain dead individual can
donate various organs like heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, lungs, skin and
corneas, while a living person can donate organs like kidney. By donating
organs we get a chance to save many lives. There are very few acts in this
world that are nobler than organ donation!