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Campaign Urges Governor to Increase Organ Donation.

Business Editors and Health/Medical Writers

SAN DIEGO--(BW HealthWire)--March 23, 2000

In the time it takes an average American to commute to and from work -- 90 minutes -- someone dies waiting for an organ transplant.

That's why California's organ and tissue transplant community has initiated a statewide letter campaign asking Governor Gray Davis to consider Senate Bill 771 which could impact the critical shortage of organ donors.

SB 771, authored by Senator Jackie Speier (D-Daly City), creates a state organ and tissue registry. All Californians who agree to be organ donors could voluntarily be listed in one central state database.

"The donor registry would expedite the consent process from the family of deceased donors to recipients who are dependent on a life-saving organ donation," said Rudolph Morgan, executive director of Lifesharing Community Organ Donation. "SB 771 supports your wishes to become an organ donor."

Nationwide, more than 70,000 individuals are waiting for an organ transplant, of which 12,000 are Californians. In the last 10 years, the national list has tripled but the number of organ donors has remained the same.

Sadly, one third of those awaiting organ transplants currently die because of the shortage. Fourteen states with enacting registries have seen a dramatic increase in donation -- in Illinois the number of medically eligible donors rose more than 50%.

The letter campaign started after SB 771 became stalled in the Assembly. Letters are encouraging Gov. Davis to sign the legislation and release only an estimated $1.5 million of the state's budget surplus to establish the registry.

The campaign is coordinated by the California Coalition on Donation. The coalition includes the four California federally-designated organ procurement organizations: California Transplant Donor Network, San Francisco; Golden State Donor Services, Sacramento; Lifesharing Community Organ Donation, San Diego and Southern California Organ Procurement Center, Los Angeles.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 23, 2000
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