TISSUE BANKS: Assemblyman Calls for Closer Regulation
The state Department of Health Services should more closely regulate not-for-profit tissue banks and their business associates, Assemblyman Martin Gallegos (D-Baldwin Park) said this week. Gallegos, chair of the state Assembly's Health Committee, has drafted a measure to order a full review of the tissue banks' financial and medical practices. The proposal comes in the wake of a recent industry investigation by the Orange County Register. Under the legislation, the state DHS would examine tissue banks' administrative costs, as well as their policies on disclosure and consent. Officials also would consider whether tissue needs for patients with serious medical conditions, such as burn victims, should gain priority over those who want tissue for elective procedures. Gallegos said he may support making some changes without waiting for the proposed review's January 2002 completion, including several bills that would give burn victims priority access to skin donations and require researchers to seek consent before using cadavers or body parts. "Clearly, the Legislature is prepared to intervene here and say, 'Look, not only do you license these places but you also must establish some kind of oversight,'" he added. Gallegos plans to insert the proposal into an existing bill set to be considered by his committee Tuesday (Weintraub, Orange County Register, 4/21).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.