Donate Life PA Act Signed by Governor

Today, Governor Wolf signed State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf’s Donate Life PA Act legislation, SB 180, into law as Act 90 of 2018.

“I would like to thank Governor Wolf for signing the Act into law and express my sincere appreciation for all of the advocates and stakeholders who worked so hard for so many years to achieve this milestone,” Senator Greenleaf said. “Every day, doctors tell patients that they are simply not going to live without an organ transplant.  Parents receive horrible news that their child isn’t going to survive without a transplant.  The Donate Life PA Act will give more people a greater chance of surviving.”

One person in Pennsylvania dies every 18 hours while waiting for an organ transplant.  Today, over 8,000 people in our state are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant.  More await life-improving cornea, tissue and bone marrow transplants.

This is a health crisis in need of immediate action.  As organ transplant medicine advances, the Commonwealth must update its laws to accommodate the most modern and best practices.

Act 90 ensures that more viable organs reach the patients in need and it would increase public education about the need for donors.  Sometimes people never get the chance to give the gift of organ or tissue donation – even if they are registered – because too much time has passed before donation is considered or authorized.

The Donate Life PA Act improves the communication process between county coroners or medical examiners and organ procurement organizations.  At the same time, the Act includes specific rules to ensure that organ donation will never interfere with a criminal investigation.

The Act also protects every donor’s wishes by allowing someone with power of attorney to authorize donation.  If the intent of the dying person is not clear, the Act sets forth the procedure to contact family and caregivers to learn the person’s intent with regard to organ donation. 

More information about the Donate Life PA Act and organ donation can be found at www.senatorgreenleaf.com/organ-donation.  The site features stories of several Pennsylvanians who have received anatomical gifts and how organ donation has saved their lives or those of their children.

Contact:

Aaron Zappia (215) 657-7700
azappia@pasen.gov