Law can increase organ donations

The state should adopt the national uniform organ donation legislation.

Over 95,000 Americans are currently on waiting lists for organ donations. Last year, nearly 6,000 of them died while waiting. In bigger cities – where the number of donors versus the number needing donations is at the greatest disparity – the wait is five to eight years, and that number is expected to double by the end of the decade. In light of this, we encourage the state of Minnesota to pass the Darlene Luther Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, sponsored by Linda Scheid (DFL-Brooklyn Park).

The act would update the original 1968 Uniform Act that was adopted by every state. In 1987, a number of states, including Minnesota, updated and revised the law, but not every state did so. Now there is a nationwide effort to close loopholes and increase the clarity of these laws by updating the legislation. With organ donations sometimes being transferred across state lines, it’s clear that consistency and coordination among states on this issue could very well be a matter of life and death.

The law would change a number of provisions, including specifically how donations would be administered and to which specific organizations they would go. But its most important effect would be that it would reinforce a person’s choice to become a donor in the event of their death and revoke the ability of anyone else, including family members, to override their decision.

While it’s doubtful that this will increase the number of donations dramatically, if you or one of your loved ones were the person in need of a transplant, there’s no question that every one of these donors count. By following the donors own wishes, we can increase the likelihood of survival for people on waiting lists for organ transplants.

The state already has an online registry to aid donations at and should embrace this legislation as the next step in helping thousands of Americans have a second chance at life.