This week, the House of Representatives unanimously adopted House Resolution 209
, legislation of mine that designated April 2017 as “National Donate Life Month” in Pennsylvania.
As an organ donor, I sponsored the resolution to acknowledge the generosity of donors and their families and the continuing need for organ and tissue donation by joining the rest of the nation in the month-long observance.
According to Donate Life America, more than 33,000 transplants brought life to patients during last year. But more than 118,000 men, women and children still need organ transplants. In Pennsylvania, there are almost 8,000 people on the organ waiting list and, on average, every 18 hours one of them will die waiting for the call that never comes.
The good news is that word is getting out, and more and more people are making the decision to “donate life.” I am pleased to report that 4.6 million Pennsylvanians have said yes to organ and tissue donation by adding the donor designation on their driver’s license.
In addition, more than 134 million people, or about 54 percent of the adult population in the United States, are registered donors.
Through House Resolution 209, we hope to continue raising awareness about the great need for donated organs here in Pennsylvania and across the country, and also encourage more members of the public to make that life-saving decision.
Legislation is expected to soon be re-introduced in the House to update and revise Pennsylvania law regarding organ and tissue donation. The bill, commonly referred to as the “Donate Life PA Act,” would make amendments using the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which is model legislation developed by the national Uniform Law Commission.
The proposal, which I am co-sponsoring, would ensure every county follows national best practices when it comes to organ donation. It would also result in more organ donations, protect the rights of donors and familiess, and retain coroner authority.
The Donate Life PA Act would re-establish Pennsylvania’s position as a national leader in organ and tissue donation, while helping those patients awaiting life-saving organ transplants.
Representative Tarah Toohil
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Contact: Rep. Toohil’s Office
RepToohil.com / Facebook.com/RepToohil