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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 15, 2017 02:18 PM
From: Representative Joseph A. Petrarca
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation providing for the Donate Life PA Act to Modernize Pennsylvania’s Organ Donation Law
 

Every 18 hours, someone in PA dies waiting for an organ that never comes.

In the near future, I plan on introducing legislation that would amend Title 20 (Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes to update and revise Pennsylvania law regarding organ and tissue donation. This legislation, which is commonly referred to as the Donate Life PA Act, was introduced last session as House Bill 30 and will be given the same bill number in the current legislative session.

As many of you may know, Pennsylvania enacted Act 102 of 1994, which helped set a national standard for anatomical donations. Since that time, nearly every other state has updated their organ and tissue donation laws using the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, which is model legislation developed by the national Uniform Law Commission.

The Donate Life PA Act draws many of its provisions from this uniform act, while also building on existing Pennsylvania law. In addition, it incorporates many of the recommendations made by the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee in their evaluation of the Pennsylvania’s Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Program (OTDAP), which was conducted pursuant to House Resolution 698 of 2006.

The legislation also underwent significant revision in the Judiciary Committee in the 2015-2016 legislative session and this draft includes those changes.

The Donate Life PA Act would:
  • Encourage an increase in education about organ and tissue donation in secondary schools,
  • Incorporate provisions of the revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act into Pennsylvania law,
  • Update provisions relating to the Governor Robert P. Casey Memorial Organ and Tissue Donation Awareness Trust Fund and the OTDAP,
  • Reinforce the priority of transplantation in the law and affirm that anatomical donations must be initially referred to a federally-designated organ procurement agency to ensure that donations are subject to regulatory oversight, and
  • Encourage the cooperation of medical examiners and coroners with organ procurement organizations.
The legislation will re-establish Pennsylvania’s position as a national leader in organ and tissue donation, while helping the more than 8,000 patients awaiting life-saving organ transplants in the Commonwealth.

House Bill 30 of the 2015-2016 Legislative Session co-sponsors:

PETRARCA, CUTLER, BARBIN, PHILLIPS-HILL, EVERETT,
MILLARD, IRVIN, D. COSTA, MACKENZIE, GOODMAN, ROZZI,
DRISCOLL, O'BRIEN, GIBBONS, A. HARRIS, RAVENSTAHL, KILLION,
PASHINSKI, McNEILL, WATSON, HARHAI, SAYLOR, MILNE, COHEN,
THOMAS, B. MILLER, TOOHIL, P. COSTA, KORTZ, KIM, BRIGGS,
SCHREIBER, BOYLE, JOZWIAK, DeLUCA, REGAN, KINSEY, DAVIS,
GERGELY, LONGIETTI, ORTITAY, ELLIS, HICKERNELL, KAUFER,
BRADFORD, GROVE, PYLE, DiGIROLAMO, DEASY, ZIMMERMAN,
FABRIZIO, MATZIE, MUSTIO, GODSHALL, STURLA, KOTIK, MARKOSEK,
CARROLL, YOUNGBLOOD, M. DALEY, SIMS, DeLISSIO, DERMODY,
MAHONEY, J. HARRIS, TOBASH, SCHWEYER, WHEATLEY, McCARTER,
DEAN, DAWKINS, W. KELLER, DAVIDSON, FARINA, D. MILLER, FLYNN,
ROEBUCK, FRANKEL, P. DALEY, MULLERY, VITALI, HANNA, GALLOWAY,
ACOSTA, GAINEY, FREEMAN, CONKLIN, MOUL, BURNS, SANTARSIERO,
WHEELAND AND O'NEILL



Introduced as HB30