Illinois Expands Organ Donor Registry to Teens

On Tuesday, Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the Drive for Life Act, paving the way for 16- and 17-year-olds to register as organ and tissue donors.

“So many people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants,” Rauner said in a statement. “In Illinois alone, more than 4,700 people are on the waiting list, and every year, around 300 people die waiting for a transplant. It’s tragic. We need to give everyone who wants to become an organ donor the opportunity to do so, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”

Under the new law, Illinois residents who are at least 16 years old can join the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue donor registry when they receive their driver’s license or state ID cards. Parents and guardians will still have the right to give or revoke consent until the donor turns 18.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and state legislators worked with organ procurement organizations Mid-America Transplant Services and Gift of Hope Organ and Tissue Network to get the Drive for Life Act written into law.

“My goal for the Illinois Secretary of State's Organ and Tissue Donor program is to save lives by ensuring that organs and tissue are available for those in need,” Secretary of State Jesse White said in a statement. “This new law is a major step toward reaching that goal. I was proud to work with the advocacy groups, legislators and the governor to help make this law a reality.”

Illinois joins 47 other states that currently allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register as organ donors.


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