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Michigan Strengthens Organ Donor Rights, Joins National Momentum to Bring Uniformity to Organ Donation Laws.

LANSING, Mich. -- Late last week, Governor Jennifer Granholm signed six bills that enhance donor rights while clarifying all aspects of the donation process in Michigan. Effective May 1, 2008, the laws completely revise the Uniform Anatomical Gift Law (UAGL) in Michigan to more accurately reflect the current donation and transplantation environment. The laws will further uphold a person's ability to make a binding personal decision for or against organ, tissue and eye donation at the time of death.

The new laws are part of a nationwide movement to make Michigan compatible with other state laws, the federal National Organ Transplant Act and Medicare regulations. Michigan will become the 22nd state to adopt the uniform law, which is also under consideration in many other states.

The Revised UAGL had bipartisan support across both chambers of the Michigan Legislature, and received unanimous approval throughout each step of the legislative process.

Rep. Paul Condino (D-Southfield), a National Uniform Law Commissioner, sponsored the main bill of the package. Sponsors of the other bills that comprise the Revised UAGL are Rep. Kathy Angerer (D-Dundee), Sen. Hansen Clarke (D-Detroit), Sen. Jason Allen (R-Traverse City), Sen. Roger Kahn (R-Saginaw) and Rep. Brian Calley (R-Portland).

The Revised UAGL eliminates past conflicting state and federal laws by creating uniformity that will help make the best of every single donation opportunity. "The new law will strengthen donor rights," states Richard Pietroski, newly appointed Executive Director of Gift of Life Michigan. "It eliminates barriers to donation that we commonly face in our everyday practice."

Pietroski added: "We thank Representative Condino and all the sponsors for their leadership in making Michigan law consistent with other states." Gift of Life Michigan also recognizes the support given by the chairs of both the Senate and House Health Policy Committees, Senator Tom George (R-Kalamazoo) and Representative Kathy Angerer (D- Dundee).

Last year in Michigan, a record 301 organ donors provided 881 organs for life-saving transplants. In addition, a record 920 tissue donors enhanced the lives of thousands more through their gifts. It is now easier for individuals to designate themselves as potential donors through the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. Residents can display a heart donor sticker on the front of their driver's license or state ID card to show they are registered. To sign up on the Donor Registry, visit giftoflifemichigan.org or call Gift of Life Michigan at 800-482-4881.

Gift of Life Michigan is the state's federally authorized organ recovery organization.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Mar 18, 2008
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