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Madden/Vitale Bill To Improve Response Time For Organ Donation Clears Senate Budget And Appropriations Panel

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden and Joseph F. Vitale that would require the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) to share donor information with federally-approved organ donation agencies was unanimously approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations committee.

“In essence, the decision to become an organ donor is one to give the gift of life to a perfect stranger,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “By easing the organ donation process, potential donors and their families would be able to help other people who so desperately need a second chance at life, without having to cut through a lot of bureaucracy and red tape. Organ donation does not have to be a long, drawn out process.”

“When it comes to organ donation, the time it takes to locate and transplant the donated organs can mean the difference between life and death for a recipient,” said Senator Vitale, D-Middlesex, who chairs the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. “This legislation provides the bridge needed between the MVC and organ donation agencies to ensure a quick, efficient and reliable transfer of donor information, which in turn could save lives.”

The Senators’ measure, S-1760, would call upon the Chief Administrator of the MVC to provide access to an up-to-date list of registered organ donors to the federal organ donor agencies that serve the New Jersey area.

Under State law, the MVC is required to maintain a database consisting of information on every licensed-organ donor in New Jersey. Current law does not require the information to be shared with organ donation agencies.

Under the bill, the MVC would also be required to establish an annual education program for the agency employees and personnel designed to focus on the benefits of organ and tissue donation, on the specifics of the State’s program and how the employees can better inform the public about donation.

This measure now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

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