Groups Announce Launch of State Organ Donation Web Site
A coalition of groups that allocate organs to hospitals on Monday announced the launch of a Web site where California residents can register to be organ donors, the San Francisco Chronicle reports (Russell, San Francisco Chronicle, 4/5).
Individuals who wish to donate organs can log on to the English Web site or the Spanish Web site and answer several questions to register as donors. People have the option to notify family and friends by e-mail.
Information provided to the Web site is accessible online by employees of Donate Life California Organ and Tissue Donor Registry. When a patient is dying, hospital workers can contact the organization to see if the patient is a registered organ donor (Benson, Sacramento Bee, 4/5).
The only other state-operated system to indicate the intention to donate is run through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Pink dots are affixed to drivers' licenses of individuals who wish to donate their organs. However, the pink dots are not legally binding and no state agency maintains a list of state residents who wish to be organ donors, the Chronicle reports.
California is the 37th state to create a state-affiliated registry (San Francisco Chronicle, 4/5). About 20% of people awaiting organ donations nationwide are California residents, according to the Oakland Tribune (Meyers, Oakland Tribune, 4/5).
Sen. Jackie Speier (D-San Mateo) wrote the bill which authorized the online registry. The registry is funded privately.
A bill (SB 689) by Speier currently under consideration in the Legislature would link donor information collected by the DMV to the central registry (Sacramento Bee, 4/5).