Friday, September 28, 2007

A partial victory on organ donation

The Health Committee has reported back [PDF] on Dr Jackie Blue's Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill, and recommended that it not be passed. The bill would have established a register of organ donors, allowing them to state their legally binding wish to donate or not donate. Unfortunately, the committee didn't think such a register was necessary at this time; however they have included clauses in the government's Human Tissue Bill, also reported back [PDF] today, which would allow the establishment of such a register "should it prove desirable". So while Dr Blue almost certainly will not see her bill passed, she has gained at least a partial victory.

(The Human Tissue Bill BTW significantly tidies up the rules around informed consent, making it clear that people can object, and setting up a clear succession of who may be asked to consent if their wishes were unclear. This is a significant improvement on the current situation, which allows a doctor to ask any relative).