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Organ Donation Legislation Considered in House Committee

March 13, 2018

Today, the Pennsylvania House Judiciary Committee passed legislation regarding organ donation laws. Senate Bill 108, sponsored by Senator John Sabatina (D-Philadelphia) and Senate Bill 180, sponsored by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery), were both voted out of the committee as amended.

Senate Bill 108 prohibits discrimination against disabled individuals in need of organ transplants. The legislation states that individuals who are organ transplant candidates cannot be deemed ineligible only on the basis that they have physical or mental disabilities. The legislation does allow for exception “to the extent that the physical or mental disability has been found by a physician or surgeon following an individualized evaluation of the potential recipient to be medically significant to the provision of the anatomical gift.”

Senate Bill 180 updates the commonwealth’s organ and tissue donation law. Specifically, it seeks to clarify methods for making anatomical donations and other procedures. For example:

  • Procedures a hospital must follow to notify organizations of potential donors
  • Required informational material provided to potential organ donors
  • Providing for notification to a coroner or medical examiner
  • Directs the various state boards to develop regulations for training of physicians and nurses about organ and tissue donation
  • Creates the Organ and Tissue Donation Advisory Committee

The legislation also makes changes to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund.

Both bills now head for consideration of the full House chamber. 

For more information about the legislation, please contact Scott Bishop, senior vice president, legislative advocacy. To learn more about organ donation in Pennsylvania, contact Mary Marshall, HAP’s director, workforce and professional services.