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Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, May 26, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesHEALTH COMMITTEE OKS ORGAN DONATION CHANGES

HEALTH COMMITTEE OKS ORGAN DONATION CHANGES

The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved legislation Friday that would make the organ donation process easier, and bring it into line with most other states.
Health officials testifying before the committee stressed the importance of the revised anatomical gift act. Amos Carty, general counsel for the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, said the act could help narrow the gap between the supply and demand of donated organs, according to the Daily News. Carty was representing Eugene Woods, the hospital's chief executive officer.
Dr. Ruth Watson, hospital medical director, was also in favor of the legislation. She told the committee the importance of revising the anatomical gift act was self-evident.
"Every donor has the potential of giving renewed life to those whose lives may depend on it," she said.
The legislation expands the list of people who can permit donation of an organ, unless the deceased refused a donation before his death. It also drops the requirement that documents permitting organ donations must be witnessed.
The proposal requires hospital staff to discuss organ donation and encourage consent by the family of any patient who is brain-dead and an eligible donor, according to the V.I. Independent.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Allie-Alllison Petrus, committee chair, was also strongly endorsed by a senior nursing student from the University of the Virgin Islands, Jennifer JnoBaptiste, who is working to increase community awareness about organ donation.
She said that in January, 66,983 patients were on the national Patient Waiting List for organ transplants, and 44,000 of them needed kidneys. The availability of organs is particularly important to minorities, she said, since "at least 49 percent of persons on the waiting list are people of color."
The act must now go to the Rules Committee before it comes back to the full senate for a vote.
In another matter, the committee tabled a bill to bring all professional mental health practitioners under an umbrella licensing board. Representatives of the Association of V. I. Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers strongly objected to the bill, according to the Daily News, saying their standards are much more stringent that those of related fields.
Sen. Lorraine Berry, the bill's sponsor, remarked that the committee seemed to have gotten in the middle of a "turf war," but agreed to have the bill tabled to work out an agreement satisfactory to all groups. The bill, as it stands, is now postponed indefinitely.

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The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved legislation Friday that would make the organ donation process easier, and bring it into line with most other states.
Health officials testifying before the committee stressed the importance of the revised anatomical gift act. Amos Carty, general counsel for the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, said the act could help narrow the gap between the supply and demand of donated organs, according to the Daily News. Carty was representing Eugene Woods, the hospital's chief executive officer.
Dr. Ruth Watson, hospital medical director, was also in favor of the legislation. She told the committee the importance of revising the anatomical gift act was self-evident.
"Every donor has the potential of giving renewed life to those whose lives may depend on it," she said.
The legislation expands the list of people who can permit donation of an organ, unless the deceased refused a donation before his death. It also drops the requirement that documents permitting organ donations must be witnessed.
The proposal requires hospital staff to discuss organ donation and encourage consent by the family of any patient who is brain-dead and an eligible donor, according to the V.I. Independent.
The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Allie-Alllison Petrus, committee chair, was also strongly endorsed by a senior nursing student from the University of the Virgin Islands, Jennifer JnoBaptiste, who is working to increase community awareness about organ donation.
She said that in January, 66,983 patients were on the national Patient Waiting List for organ transplants, and 44,000 of them needed kidneys. The availability of organs is particularly important to minorities, she said, since "at least 49 percent of persons on the waiting list are people of color."
The act must now go to the Rules Committee before it comes back to the full senate for a vote.
In another matter, the committee tabled a bill to bring all professional mental health practitioners under an umbrella licensing board. Representatives of the Association of V. I. Psychologists and the National Association of Social Workers strongly objected to the bill, according to the Daily News, saying their standards are much more stringent that those of related fields.
Sen. Lorraine Berry, the bill's sponsor, remarked that the committee seemed to have gotten in the middle of a "turf war," but agreed to have the bill tabled to work out an agreement satisfactory to all groups. The bill, as it stands, is now postponed indefinitely.