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HomeNewsArchivesHEALTH PANEL OKS CHANGES IN ORGAN DONOR LAW

HEALTH PANEL OKS CHANGES IN ORGAN DONOR LAW

The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved legislation Friday that would simplify the organ donation process and bring it into line with procedures in most states.
The measure now goes to the Rules Committee.
Health officials testifying for the bill stressed the importance of revising the Anatomical Gift Act.
Amos Carty, general counsel for the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, said the changes could help narrow the gap between the supply of and demand for donated organs, according to the Daily News.
Carty was representing Eugene Woods, the hospital chief executive officer.
Dr. Ruth Watson, hospital medical director, told the committee, "Every donor has the potential of giving renewed life to those whose lives may depend on it."
The legislation, sponsored by committee chair Allie-Allison Petrus, expands the list of people who can permit donation of an organ and drops a requirement that documents permitting organ donations be witnessed.
It requires hospital staff to discuss organ donation and encourage consent by the family of any patient who is brain dead and is an eligible donor, according to the V.I. Independent.
The measure was 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.
In January, she said, there were 66,983 persons on the national patient waiting list for organ transplants, and 44,000 of them needed kidneys. Availability of the organs is critical to minorities, she said, since "at least 49 percent of persons on the waiting list are people of color."
In other action, 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 proposal, saying that their respective standards are much more stringent that those of related fields, according to the Daily News.
Sen. Lorraine Berry, the bill 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.

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The Senate Health Committee unanimously approved legislation Friday that would simplify the organ donation process and bring it into line with procedures in most states.
The measure now goes to the Rules Committee.
Health officials testifying for the bill stressed the importance of revising the Anatomical Gift Act.
Amos Carty, general counsel for the Roy L. Schneider Hospital, said the changes could help narrow the gap between the supply of and demand for donated organs, according to the Daily News.
Carty was representing Eugene Woods, the hospital chief executive officer.
Dr. Ruth Watson, hospital medical director, told the committee, "Every donor has the potential of giving renewed life to those whose lives may depend on it."
The legislation, sponsored by committee chair Allie-Allison Petrus, expands the list of people who can permit donation of an organ and drops a requirement that documents permitting organ donations be witnessed.
It requires hospital staff to discuss organ donation and encourage consent by the family of any patient who is brain dead and is an eligible donor, according to the V.I. Independent.
The measure was 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.
In January, she said, there were 66,983 persons on the national patient waiting list for organ transplants, and 44,000 of them needed kidneys. Availability of the organs is critical to minorities, she said, since "at least 49 percent of persons on the waiting list are people of color."
In other action, 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 proposal, saying that their respective standards are much more stringent that those of related fields, according to the Daily News.
Sen. Lorraine Berry, the bill 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.