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Hunter, White work to expand organ donor registry

hunter 021517Secretary of State Jesse White joined State Senator Mattie Hunter (D- Chicago) in the Senate Public Health Committee today to announce new legislation that would allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for the state’s First-Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry when they receive their driver’s license or identification card.

“Choosing to give life to another is a wonderful gift,” Hunter said. “Opening the donor registry will broaden the number of overall donations and save countless lives.”

Under current law, an individual must be at least 18 to join the registry. While this legislation leaves the decision up to teenagers, Senator Hunter and Secretary White encourage youth to discuss their decision with their parents.

By joining the First Person Consent Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, 16- and 17-year-olds can give consent to donate their organs and tissue at the time of their death. However, the procurement organizations, Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network and Mid-America Transplant, are required to contact a parent or guardian to ensure approval of the donation. Ultimately, the parent or guardian will have the opportunity to overturn the child’s decision.

The legislation moved out of committee and to the Illinois Senate for further consideration.