Sunday, October 29, 2006

More Hawaii families are saying 'no' to organ donation

A story by Honolulu TV station KHNL reports a very disturbing trend: organ donation rates are dropping in Hawaii because families are refusing to allow transplantation of organs from registered organ donors.

According to the story, last year "only 55% of the potential donors actually became donors because family members agreed to allow their loved ones organs to be donated." But it gets even worse: "So far this year only 40% of potential organ donations actually went through because 25 families decided not to give consent even though the donor intended to."

The decisions these families made prevented about 75 transplants, since the average deceased organ donor contributes about 3 organs. So about 75 people will die or suffer needlessly.

It's outrageous to stop a relative's organs from being donated when you know that your relative wanted to be a donor. It's also outrageous that transplant and law enforcement professionals allow this to happen. Under Hawaii's anatomical gift law, "an anatomical gift that is not revoked by the donor before death is irrevocable and does not require the consent or concurrence of any person after the donor's death." (See Hawaii Revised Statutes chapter 327-2(h).) Just about every other state has a similar provision in its anatomical gift statute.

By the way, if you prevent a relative's organs from being transplanted you will remain eligible for a transplant if you ever need one. That's perhaps the most outrageous thing of all.

Click here to subscribe to this blog

No comments: