Davis Signs Bill to Establish Tissue and Organ Donor Registry
Gov. Gray Davis (D) last Friday signed a bill (SB 108) that will establish an organ and tissue donor registry -- "but only if sufficient donations are raised" to cover the development costs of the program and cost of operations for the first year, the Sacramento Bee reports. Under the bill, sponsored by state Sen. Jackie Speier (D-Hillsborough), individuals must complete a form provided by the Department of Motor Vehicles to participate in the organ donation program. The department will send the forms to the state registry, where officials will enter the information into a confidential database "available only to federally designated organ-procurement agencies 24 hours a day, seven days a week" (Griffith, Sacramento Bee, 10/14). However, Davis said that the state will not launch the program until the state Department of Finance determines that "sufficient donated funds are available" in the the Organ and Tissue Donor Fund to support the cost for the first year of operation. Fourteen states have similar state-administered programs. Fifteen thousand California residents await organ transplants (Office of the Governor release, 10/12).