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Anatomical gift legislation heads to the House

There are currently nearly 2,000 U.S. children under the age of 18 on the national transplant waiting list.  The Senate passed Senate Bill 1359 late Tuesday to give Oklahoma judges the power to possibly save some of those children.  Under the measure, if a court has to make the decision to withdraw life sustaining treatment of a child in state custody based upon the attending physician’s recommendation, then the judge has the authority to authorize anatomical gifts. 

“This bill was requested by a judge in my district who had to rule to turn off a child’s ventilator at the recommendation of a physician.  Already a difficult situation, he said it was made worse by the fact that he didn’t feel he had the authority to agree to the donation of the child’s organs,” Howard said.  “One donor can save eight people with organs and up to 50 with tissues. This bill will give judges in these difficult situations the ability to honor the child’s life by donating their organs to save other children.”

The judge said he was aware of nearly 40 cases where local judges were unable to donate a child’s organs that was in state custody at the time of his or her passing.

According to the American Transplant Foundation, nearly 114,000 Americans are currently on the organ transplant waiting list. Every ten minutes, someone is added to the list, and 20 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplant.

SB 1359 now goes to the House for further consideration.




For more information, contact: Sen. Howard: (405) 521-5612



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