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Organ Donor Families, Transplant Recipients Journey to State Capitol to Urge Passage of Key Donor Designation Legislation
Date:4/28/2009

SB 552 (Padilla) Designed to Educate First-Time Drivers on Organ and Tissue Donation

SACRAMENTO, Calif., April 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Families of organ and tissue donors will join organ transplant recipients at the State Capitol on April 28 to urge lawmakers to pass SB 552 (Padilla), which would institute organ and tissue donation education in 9th and 10th grade health classes.

All Californians who apply for or renew a driver's license or ID card have the opportunity to enroll in the Donate Life California Registry as organ and tissue donors. "While nearly five million Californians have answered 'yes' to the donation question since 2006, only 23% of Californians checked 'yes' to register as donors in 2008, placing the state well below the national average of 36 percent," stated Bryan Stewart, president of Donate Life California.

"All teenagers should be able to make an informed decision when they are asked whether they wish to be an organ and tissue donor when applying for their first driver's license," said Senator Alex Padilla, author of Senate Bill 552. "This bill would require 15 minutes of organ and tissue donation instruction with no cost to California taxpayers."

A recent statewide phone survey by Meta Research shows that 84% of self-identified organ donors and 63% of non-donors support educating soon-to-be-licensed teenagers on organ and tissue donation.

"Since 2006, nearly 130 California high schools have voluntarily hosted organ donation presentations in their classrooms. While I applaud their efforts, SB 552 would ensure that students in the other 90 percent of the state's high schools can make an educated decision when they are asked the donation question as they apply for their first driver's license," stated Sen. Padilla.

The need for life-saving transplants continues to rise, especially in Latino and African American communities affected by a high incidence of kidney disease. Of the more than 100,000 people on the national organ transplant waiting list, 20 percent are listed in California.

Donate Life California is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry, administered by California's four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations, each responsible for facilitating the donation process in the state: California Transplant Donor Network, Golden State Donor Services, Lifesharing and OneLegacy.

To register as an organ and tissue donor, visit www.donateLIFEcalifornia.org or in Spanish at www.doneVIDAcalifornia.org.


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SOURCE Donate Life
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