House bill

Missouri House Bill Could Expand Uses of Organ Donation Program Fund

The death of Rep. Dave Griffith’s brother, R-Jefferson City, saved the life of a Minnesota woman. When he died of a heart attack, Mark Griffith’s kidney and other organs were donated.

Griffith said: “Through his death, we were able to give life to someone else.”

House Bill 2680, sponsored by Griffith, would expand the uses of the Organ Donation Program Fund.

The woman whose life was saved by Mark’s kidney donation contacted Griffith and her family later and thanked them for the life-saving gift. Griffith said that letter helped him and his family cope with the death of his brother. He hopes this bill can help more families feel the same way.

Under the bill, the families of those who donated organs would be recognized using funds from the organ donation program.

The proposed bill would allow the money to be used for organ donation awareness and education, donation training and donor registration initiatives. Additionally, any funds over $500,000 in the fund could be invested to allow the funds to grow outside of donations and grants.

Michael Ordweiler, director of legislative affairs and government policy for the Department of Health and Senior Services, spoke in favor of the bill.

He said the donor fund currently only has two granting agencies it can work with, but this bill would “broaden the scope of what the department is able to do in outreach and outreach.”

“It’s about trying to make Missouri more compliant with the Uniform Anatomical Donation Act … and what other states have done,” Ordweiler said. This includes updating wording – for example, removing the word ‘corpse’ and redefining ‘potential donor’ or ‘procurement organization’.

Ordweiler also said the governor’s advisory committee on organ donation raised concerns about the bill. The bill would remove the requirement to consult the policy committee and make it a discretionary decision. Ordweiler said this is being proposed because the committee is not always active or fully seated, which makes policymaking more difficult.

The work of the Missouri News Network is written by students and editors of the Missouri School of Journalism for publication by member newspapers of the Missouri Press Association.

HB 2680: Organ donation

https://bit.ly/3JaHoae

Sponsor: Representative Dave Griffith