Editorial: All donors need their loved ones to know it

New Zealand Herald on Sunday

New Zealand has one of the lowest rates of organ donation in the developed world. Photo / Thinkstock

About half of us are carrying a driver's licence that says we are a "donor". It means that if we die we have given permission for our organs to be taken for a transplant to someone needing a healthy replacement. It was a big decision, even if the licence was issued long ago and we have not given it much thought since.

It is a brave person who does not pause before ticking the box to be a donor. It takes a moment to remind yourself that if ever the situation arose, you would be past caring. And another moment to imagine your heart perhaps giving somebody a new lease on life. Somebody such as David Rasmussen, who is featured in the Herald on Sunday today. Over the next few weeks we will be looking at donors' decisions, what happens thereafter and the waiting lists for more donors.

Although as many as half the drivers in New Zealand have stated their willingness to donate organs, we have one of the lowest rates of actual organ donation in the developed world. Continue reading.