Mother Should be Able to Be Life-Saving Donor to Daughter

Family First NZ is rubbishing an ethics committee ruling that is preventing an 18 year old mother from being able to donate a life-saving portion of her own liver to her 9-month old daughter.

“There seems no good reason, apart from an ‘international standard’ of 21, as to why this young Katikati mum cannot help save the life of her daughter,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It’s a baseless standard with potentially tragic consequences.”

The Human Tissue (Organ Donation) Amendment Bill which was defeated late last year at its 2nd Reading in Parliament allowed for donors to be as young as 18, and in fact the Ministry of Justice said that the Bill of Rights meant that 16 and 17 year olds could register to donate.

“Ethical decisions like this should always be weighted in favour of the protection of life.”

“The age restriction serves no useful purpose. It is ironic that the mum can marry at this age yet cannot donate part of her organ to her own daughter.”

“The ruling is also particularly irrelevant given that it is the parent of the child who wants to be the donor. Most parents wouldn’t think twice when presented with similar circumstances,” says Mr McCoskrie.

Family First NZ is calling on the Northern Regional Ethics Committee to overturn the rule, and allow this mother to help save the life of her daughter.

ENDS