Donor Registry Awareness Bill introduced in Michigan

Female doctor holding open chart looking at the camera

House Bill 4060 would increase awareness, provide education on organ and tissue donation

State Reps. Lori M. Stone (D-Warren) and Penelope Tsernoglou (D-East Lansing) introduced House Bill 4060 Wednesday. This legislation would encourage physicians at private practices or urgent care centers to provide information to patients interested in organ, tissue or bone marrow donations.

“This bill can save lives, and that’s the ultimate goal,” Stone said. “The bill recognizes the important role trusted medical experts fulfill as a conduit to provide resources, educate and answer questions. This information can help increase the number of donors on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry. It is crucial to find innovative ways to get Michiganders informative resources on organ and tissue donations.”

“This is common sense legislation for a successful future of donor advocacy,” added Tsernoglou. “Finding a match truly does save lives.”

Gift of Life Michigan is finding new and different ways to reach and educate residents due to changes at Michigan Secretary of State branch offices. Expanded online services have reduced the need for residents to visit their local branch offices, where people are most likely to join the Donor Registry. As a result, fewer people have added their names to it in recent years.

Dorrie Dils, President and CEO of Gift of Life Michigan, said the legislation, which was also introduced in the Michigan Senate last year, shows a continuing trend of collaboration with legislators to help save lives.

“It’s encouraging to see continued support for organ and tissue donation among our elected leaders. I hope this bill swiftly moves through the process to become law,” Dils said. “We stand ready to provide family doctors in Michigan with resources they need to have meaningful conversations about donation and to encourage their patients to register as donors.”

More than 105,000 people are waiting for new organs across the U.S., including nearly 2,400 in Michigan. Studies have shown that 90% support organ and tissue donation, yet only about 58% are registered in Michigan. Gift of Life hopes to increase that to at least 70% and has set a goal of adding one million new names to the Donor Registry. About 236,000 people added their names last year.

For more information or to sign up as a donor, visit golm.org/register.

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