Dr Stephen Streat: It's crucial to get process right

New Zealand Herald

Organ donation is a shared national responsibility, says Dr Stephen Streat, clinical director of ODNZ. Photo / Dean Purcell

Organ transplantation benefits recipients nationally, and is dependent on organ donation. While we recognise that our transplant services are national resources, we seem less aware that organ donation is a national activity.

Organ donation (from deceased donors) takes place in all 24 hospital intensive care units (ICUs) and requires commitment and co-operation from everyone.

It is our shared responsibility: all New Zealanders, the Ministry of Health, District Health Boards, hospitals, and ICUs, as well as Organ Donation New Zealand.

ODNZ is responsible for developing, maintaining and enhancing nationally consistent processes for deceased donation which provide, within the bounds of best clinical practice, as many organs and tissues as possible.

We believe that every donation opportunity should be recognised and that every family (irrespective of ethnicity, religion, or whether the word "donor" is on the driver licence) should have donation discussed with them by a healthcare professional who has appropriate knowledge and skill. Continue reading