Bill that could boost organ donation approved by Michigan Senate

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Five years ago, about a quarter of all Michigan adults volunteered to be potential organ donors.

Today, it’s about half.

And a bill that passed the Michigan Senate on Thursday might boost those numbers even more.

It’s called “Lauren’s Law” – although it’s not yet a law in Michigan. It’s named after a 9-year-old New York girl whose life was saved by a heart transplant. In Michigan, Senate Bill 541 would require workers at the Secretary of State’s office to ask people applying for a driver’s license whether they want to join the organ donor registry.

The bill passed the Senate unanimously.

“Although 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, only about 30 percent of adults nationwide have signed up as donors,” said bill sponsor Senator John Proos, a Republican from St. Joseph in a press release. “While roughly half of Michigan adults are currently registered, it’s not enough to meet the need.”

More than 3,000 Michigan residents need organ transplants of some kind. Nationwide, Donate Life America puts the number at more than 120,000.

If you’re interested in joining the organ donor registry, contact Gift of Life Michigan.

“Becoming an organ donor is easy to do, yet it can be the most impactful thing in someone else’s life that any of us ever do,” Proos said in the release.

Secretary of State spokesman Fred Woodhams says seeking organ donors has been a common practice since 2011. He says the bill would put it into law.

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