Organ donation – why wouldn’t you?

15/06/2015

Organ donations have enabled some good to come from the tragic death of a young boy:

Leon Michael leFleming Jayet-Cole’s mother gave permission for his organs to be donated as doctors turned off his life support.

Leon’s liver was donated to a baby boy. Both his kidneys were transplanted, one to an adult man and one to an adult woman.

It is rare for such young people to be donors – in the past two years only two other donors have been under 5. Both were just weeks old.

The 5-year-old Christchurch boy died in hospital on May 29 after suffering serious head injuries two days earlier. . .

New Zealand has the lowest organ donation rate in the developed world, with only 46 viable deceased donors in 2014. The youngest donor was only 10 weeks old. The oldest was 82.

In 2013 that figure was even lower, with only 36 viable deceased donors. Only one in that year was aged under 5 – a mere one month old.

For organs to be viable for donation, the death has to be as a result of a head trauma or a stroke.

Organs from one child – like Leon – can save the lives of up to six others with the transplant of the heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and pancreas. It can also improve the lives of others with the transplant of eyes, skin and bone. . .

My sons died of brain disorders. I don’t know if that meant their organs wouldn’t have been viable but had they been I’d have had no hesitation in donating them.

I don’t understand the reluctance some people have to being donors.

I have donor recorded on my driver’s licence and have discussed the issue with my family.

That wish isn’t legally binding but I think it should be.

I wouldn’t go so far as some who say those who aren’t donors shouldn’t be eligible for transplants but have sympathy for the view that those willing to be donors should have precedence over those who could be but aren’t.


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