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CA living donor “registry” – why it’s a BAD idea

As always, the full text can be read here.

1. California is broke. Dead broke. Painfully broke. Just how and who is going to fund this thing? The only stipulation in the bill (now law) is for ‘voluntary contributions’.

2. The management of the so-called registry will into the hands of California’s OPOs (organ procurement organizations). Problem is, federal law prohibits the OPOS from ‘diluting their charge’ by involving themselves in matters of living donation.

3. How will the these anonymous donors’ kidneys be distributed – locally, state-wide, regionally? The bill/law makes no mention of this.

Generally, if an individual wants to donate an organ, they contact their local transplant center, and the transplant program attempts to find a match first with their waiting recipients, or by sharing with other centers. Secondarily, a would-be living donor could contact one of the consortiums involved with kidney pairs/chains and they would find the most suitable match.

3a. Allocation is federally determined and mandated. According to 42 CFR Part 121, no state can interfere with organ allocation prioritized by medical need and prevent organs from being shared across state lines. In essence, California’s registry would/could/should be utilized to treat would-be recipients across the entire US, negating the reasoning behind the law in the first place.

4. An employee at the Dept/Bureau of Motor Vehicles might be capable of asking someone what they want done with their body after they’re dead, but does anything think they’re the right people to be soliciting living, breathing people for their kidneys while they’re still using them?

It’s impossible to expect the license clerk to be knowledgable enough to answer questions that may arise, or provide good and detailed information. This inefficiency will waste a lot of people’s time in the long run.

5. Only basic contact information will be included in the registry. Without even so much as a blood type, how will prospective donors and recipients be matched? The implementation is non-existent and unapparent in the law’s language.


There are ZERO provisions for the protection, respect and consideration of living donors. No evaluation standards, no requirements of follow-up and no concern for their post-transplant lives, despite some rumors to the contrary. In effect, this law treats living donors like their deceased counterparts, as nothing more than organ incubators.

Just this year (2010), a physician was prosecuted for hastening Rubin Navarro’s death to procure his organs. This is also the same country that rebels whenever an opt-out or presumed consent change is suggested for the deceased donor system, citing fears of governmental organ snatching. Why would the state of CA risk this type of backlash?

Will they foot the bill for lost wages, mental health treatment or complications the anonymous living donors suffer as a result of this law?

Will Gov. Schwarzengger even bother to send letters of condolescences to the families of the living donors who die or are maimed?

ETA 9/12/10: There’s been much ado on what Gov. Scharwezegger is claiming SB1395 will accomplish. Proponents refuse to accept the limitations of the actual law itself (even after reading it).

So here’s the deal: the state of NY passed very detailed law and policy after living donor Mike Hurewitz died. Here is the link.

As New York has shown, these regulations are not only possible, but precedented. If California was interested in doing all the things the Governor claims SB1395 will do, why didn’t he include it in the law?

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