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Pennsylvania General Assembly Passes Organ Donation Legislation

October 11, 2018

State house lawmakers gave unanimous approval this week to Senate Bill 180, which updates Pennsylvania’s 1996 organ donation law to reflect medical advances and adjust organ recovery protocols.

The bill establishes a comprehensive framework for public education about organ and tissue donations; clarifies the methods for making anatomical donations; and updates the law to reflect the best clinical practices to support anatomical donations for transplantations.

In Pennsylvania, statewide education and awareness initiatives are developed and sponsored by the Organ and Tissue Donation Advisory Committee in collaboration with various nonprofit organizations and executive agencies collectively referred to as the Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Program (OTDAP). During 2006, the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee (LBFC) was directed to evaluate the OTDAP. The LBFC made 26 recommendations to build on the success of the OTDAP, many of which have been incorporated into this legislation. 

The legislature also voted to increase the voluntary donation to the Casey Trust Fund from $1 to $3. These donations may be made when individuals apply for PennDOT licenses or to other documents.

Governor Wolf is expected to sign the bill.

For information about HAP’s state advocacy efforts, contact Tim Ohrum, HAP’s vice president, grassroots advocacy, or Stephanie Watkins, HAP’s vice president, state legislative advocacy.

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