I had this whole article typed in last night, and low and behold my computer ate it or WordPress is hiding it from me *pout* HOWEVER, I think it contains very valuable information that is not only important to others who, like me, live in Florida, but for anyone interested in organ donation. Please take the time to read it and comment on your opinion!
Florida Governor Vetoes Legislation to Simplify Organ & Tissue Donor Registry
Although a recognized and long-term advocate of organ and tissue donation, Florida Governor Charlie Crist recently chose to veto legislation aimed at easing the process for Floridians to decide to become organ and tissue donors.
The bill, which unanimously passed the State's House and Senate in May, planned to allow individuals to sign up as organ and tissue donors from any computer, as opposed to the current process which requires visiting a driver license office or mailing a form to the Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA).
The Florida Organ and Tissue Donor Registry was one of the first of its kind in the nation back in 1995, but has been criticized as outdated and technologically obsolete. The new registry would have been managed and maintained by Donate Life of Florida, a statewide consortium of organ, tissue and eye recovery organizations and others interested in educating the public about the importance of donation. Plans included funding in part by voluntary contributions to the Donor Education Trust Fund; there were no plans to include funds from the state's general revenue.
Prior to the veto, State Senator Steve Oelrich (whos own son was a life-saving donor) championed the legislation along with Representative Larry Cretul. With more than 3,000 Floridians waiting for life-saving transplants, the effort quickly became a bi-partisan priority.
Donate Life of Florida, with the support of AHCA and the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, sought to take on registry management in an effort to increase registered donors in Florida from 4,000,000 - about 30% of Florida's driving population - to 7,000,000 within the next year. This goal, part of a national push to increase registered organ donors and save the lives of more than 95,000 Americans currently awaiting transplants, remains a focus for Donate Life Florida while the organization regroups to readdress legislative challenges.