10 Apr 2010

Ceremonies for organ donor relatives suggested

9:52 am on 10 April 2010

An anthropologist who has studied Maori organ donation says incorporating powhiri and poroporoaki into the process could boost the number of Maori willing to donate body parts.

Dr Jennifer Ngahooro says there is a long waiting list for Maori in need of kidneys and other transplants, but few allow their organs to be harvested after death reducing the chances of a compatible match.

She says creating a poroporoaki ceremony for the relatives of donors, and a powhiri when the organs are passed to the recipients, could overcome some cultural barriers.

Mrs Ngahooro told Waatea News that people struggle with the divide between the donor and recipient families and the anonymity, which the ceremonies could help overcome.