New report on organ donation highlights changes in laws, need for more donors Changes in Missouri’s organ donation laws have strengthened a person’s right to become an organ donor. Previously, indi

New report on organ donation highlights changes in laws, need for more
donors

Changes
in Missouri’s organ donation laws have strengthened a person’s right to become
an organ donor.

Previously, individuals registered to become
organ donors, but a family member made the final decision before organs or
tissue were donated. Under the revised law, the donor is now in charge of the
decision. Family consent is no longer necessary.

Missourians signing up for the state’s registry are now giving
“first-person consent” to become organ and tissue donors at the time of their
death. Residents who registered to become donors prior to August 28, 2008, need
to sign up again to obtain the first-person consent status. Missourians who
choose not to change their organ donor status in the registry will remain on
the state’s organ donor “intent registry.”

The
changes are explained in a new report put together by the Missouri Department
of Health and Senior Services and the Governor’s Organ Donation Advisory
Committee. The Missouri Organ Donation 2008 Annual Report highlights efforts to
encourage Missourians to sign up for the state’s organ donor registry. It also
features stories about several residents who have benefitted from an organ
transplants, the work of the advisory committee and the program’s partners.

“The
purpose of this year’s report was two-fold – to highlight some critical changes
made by the Missouri legislature to the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act and to tell
some important stories about how receiving a donated organ has transformed
people’s lives,” said Virginia Beatty, manager of the state organ donor
program. “We hope that people will find this report informative and inspiring
and consider signing up to be an organ and
tissue donor.”

In addition to clarifying Missouri’s revised donor registry law,
the report includes several stories about organ and tissue recipients. They
include Rhonda Kremer, a state health department employee who received a new
kidney last October. You can see and hear Kremer tell her own story at www.dhss.mo.gov/OrganDonor/Publications.html.

“I hope the stories and information readers find in this report
will encourage them to decide to add their names to the ever-growing organ
donor registry,” Beatty said.

Missourians can sign up for the state’s organ and tissue
donor registry or change their status from “intent” to “first-person consent”
in one of the following ways:

  • Register
    on-line at www.missouriorgandonor.com
  • Register
    when receiving or renewing an instruction permit, drivers license or
    nondrivers license
  • Sign
    the back of their drivers or nondrivers license

Fill out an application form and mail or fax it
to: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, P.O. Box 570, Jefferson
City, Mo. 65102-0570, fax 573-522-2898. An application form can be obtained at www.missouriorgandonor.com

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