Thursday, January 20, 2011

Organ donation by default in Colorado?

A bill introduced in the Colorado legislature would change the process for renewing driver's licenses and ID cards so applicants are assumed to be organ and tissue donors unless they initial a statement that says they want to opt out, according to an Associated Press story.

People who opt out of donating their organs when they die should also opt out of receiving an organ should they ever need one to live.

Everyone can offer to donate, no matter what their medical condition is. But our transplant system lets people take without giving. It’s no wonder there’s such a large organ shortage. About 10,000 Americans die every year because there aren't enough organs for everyone who needs one. And every year Americans bury or cremate 20,000 transplantable organs. That's 50% of the potential supply.

There is a simple way to put a big dent in the organ shortage – allocate donated organs first to people who have agreed to donate their own organs when they die.

Anyone who wants to donate their organs to others who have agreed to donate theirs can join LifeSharers. LifeSharers is a non-profit network of organ donors who agree to offer their organs first to other organ donors when they die. Membership is free at or by calling 1-888-ORGAN88. There is no age limit, parents can enroll their minor children, and no one is excluded due to any pre-existing medical condition.

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