New bill could make Texans automatic organ donors - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

New bill could make Texans automatic organ donors

Source: KFDA NewsChannel 10 Source: KFDA NewsChannel 10
Source: KFDA NewsChannel 10 Source: KFDA NewsChannel 10
Amarillo's Driver's License Office Amarillo's Driver's License Office

A Texas lawmaker says he has a plan to help about 10,000 people on the state's organ transplant waiting list, but not everyone is on board. 

State Representative Jason Villalba filed a bill that would automatically register Texans as organ donors. Some say the intention is good -- to help increase organ donors in Texas to help save a life. 

William Roach has had that little heart on his ID for years. 

"I signed up to help any kind of research that can save life," said Roach. "I think it's important that people have the choice to do that." 

Currently, when you go to get your driver's license, you'll likely fill out a form asking if you'd like to register as an organ donor. Under the new law, the question would say "Would you like to refuse to join the organ donor registry?" If you answer no or don't answer, you've just given consent to be an organ donor. 

"I think people would get confused," said Jaclyn Reid, who opposes the bill. "I don't like that. This is my body, nobody needs to tell me what to do with it." 

The bill also requires the state to send 'opt-out' notices, which is why Donate Life Texas, the state's organ and tissue registry, opposes it. They fear this new push will trigger fewer donors, not more.  

Even though Roach has no problem being an organ donor, if this new law passes, he says the new language would make him want to look over the question a few times. 

"It definitely has to be worded very, very clearly," said Roach. "You need to know what the impact is of the box that you check." 

This bill still has a long way to go before it can be passed. If it does make it through on schedule it would take affect on September 1st, 2017. 

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