Bill to Create Organ Donor Database Waits for Davis’ Signature
Hoping to increase California's number of potential organ donors, the Legislature earlier this month passed a bill (SB 108) that would create a central database of people willing to donate their organs upon their death, the Sacramento Bee reports. Under the legislation, called the Organ and Tissue Donor Registry Act of 2001, anyone applying for or renewing a driver's license or identification card could complete a form that would be mailed to the registry. The information would be added to a central database that would be available 24-hours-a-day. Hospital staff would ask a local organ procurement organization to check the database to determine if a patient is listed as an organ donor. Registration with the database would be "legally binding," but hospitals would not go against a family's wishes if they oppose the donation, the Bee reports. Advocates say the system would "simplify the process" for families deciding to donate a loved one's organs. Funding for the registry, which is expected to cost $1.2 million in the first year, would come from private donations and grants rather than the state's general fund. About one-third of the 15,000 Californians waiting for an organ transplant die each year. The legislation, which was sponsored by Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), is awaiting Gov. Gray Davis' (D) signature (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 9/27).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.