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Bills Promoting Organ Donation Introduced

April 1, 2014- Hanson Quickel
HARRISBURG- Senator Don White recently introduced two pieces of legislation intended to promote organ donation efforts and donor designations on Pennsylvania driver’s licenses and identification cards.

“My bills are aimed at increasing organ donor designation by altering driver’s license and identification card application forms,” Senator White said. “My hope is that these bills will lead to a thoughtful discussion on how Pennsylvania can provide more options that will help save lives.”

Senate Bill 1305 would redesign driver’s license and identification card applications to include the question “Do you wish to have organ donor designation printed on your driver’s license?”

“This question, although it is required to be asked, is not printed on all driver’s license/identification forms,” Senator White said. “My bill would also require a phrase to be added to all forms stating that Pennsylvania strongly supports organ and tissue donation because of its life-saving and life-enhancing opportunities.”

Senate Bill 1306 would create a “presumed consent” or “opt-out” system which is in contrast to Pennsylvania’s current “opt-in” process. 

All applications for a driver’s license or identification card would state that “You are automatically deemed to have consented to being an organ and tissue donor. If you do not want to be considered an organ and tissue donor, you must elect to not be included on the organ donor registry by inserting your initials on the line below.” This bill also includes the phrase stating Pennsylvania strongly supports organ donation.

According to the Donate Life America website, more than 117,000 men, women and children currently need organ transplants. Every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list and an average of 18 people die each day due to the lack of available organs for transplant. 

While 90 percent of Americans say they support donation, only about half of eligible Pennsylvanians have organ donation designated on their driver’s license.

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