New Zealand Law Society - Organ donor compensation bill passed

Organ donor compensation bill passed

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Parliament has given a third reading to the Compensation for Live Organ Donors Bill.

The new legislation will commence either by Order in Council or on the anniversary of receiving the Royal assent, whichever is earlier.

The Private Member's Bill was introduced by National MP Chris Bishop on 25 June 2015. Its purpose is to provide financial assistance to people who, for altruistic reasons, donate kidney or liver tissue for transplantation purposes, and who forgo income from, for example, employment during their convalescence. The Bill also provides for the payment of childcare assistance for those who require it during their convalescence.

Donors who qualify for compensation are defined in clause 9 as those who will forgo earnings as a result of taking unpaid leave or otherwise ceasing employment to allow for their recuperation from the surgery. Both the donor surgery and the surgery to implant the organ must be carried out in New Zealand and the recipient must be eligible to receive services funded under the New Zealand Public Health and Disability Act 2000.

Qualifying donors are eligible for earnings compensation for up to 12 weeks while recuperating. "Earnings" has the meaning given in section 6(1) of the Accident Compensation Act 2001. An application must be made to the Director-General of Health by people who want to be qualifying donors.

The bill makes amendments to the Accident Compensation Act 2001, the Income Tax Act 2007 and the KiwiSaver Act 2006.

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