Paying for organ “donations” – acceptable when it saves a life?

Organ donor campaigners are hopeful changes to compensation laws will significantly increase the number of New Zealanders opting to become live donors.

There’s cross-party support for the Live Organ Donors Bill, which will cover 100 percent of a donor’s income for up to 12 weeks during their recovery.

Currently donors are only entitled to a health and disability benefit of up to $375.20 per week through Work and Income.

Organ donor campaigner Andy Tookey told Paul Henry there is only anecdotal evidence the law change will improve donor rates, but he believes that’s compelling enough to justify the change.

“There were a lot of people who fronted up to Select Committee and said that the financial barriers were the main reason,” he said.
“They can’t afford to pay a mortgage, feed the kids and donate a kidney to a family member.”

As well as saving more lives, increasing live donor rates also makes financial sense for the health system, Mr Tookey said. Each recipient of a donated kidney who can then be taken off a dialysis machine is estimated to save the health system $120,000.

The original Member’s Bill introduced by National MP Chris Bishop set compensation rates at 80 percent, but this was increased to 100 percent before being presented to the Health Select Committee on Wednesday.

“Currently live organ donors are essentially penalised for their altruism, facing a large loss of income while they donate, even though their actions save lives and contribute to a healthier New Zealand,” Mr Bishop said in a statement.

All seems above board.  Not like we’re going to be cutting kidneys out of homeless people to sell them on the black market.


– Kim Choe, Newshub

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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.