States Rewrite Organ-Donation Laws

New revision would make it easier to obtain organs
By Colleen Barry,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2007 11:26 AM CDT
Surgery   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Doctors will be able to take organs from potential donors in more sticky situations,
under revisions to state laws on the boards in more than 24 states. Model legislation that's already passed in four states clarifies how to handle ethically complex decisions, helping to alleviate the chronic shortage of kidneys and other organs, the Washington Post reports.

The most controversial section would allow donor cards to trump living wills when donors who've sworn off machine life support need it to keep organs viable. "My concern is that the dying patient is going to be neglected or even harmed for the benefit of someone else," said bioethicist Gail Van Norman.