DECATUR, Ill. – Starting Jan. 1, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to become registered organ donors when legislation supported by state Rep. Sue Scherer, D-Decatur, takes effect.
“One organ donor can save up to eight lives,” said Scherer. “Unfortunately, the number of people waiting for a life-saving organ transplant is much higher than the number of donors.”
Under the Scherer-backed House Bill 1805, 16 and 17 year olds will be able to register for the state’s organ and tissue donor registry at the time they are issued or renew a driver’s license or state identification card. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, approximately 4,700 people are on the organ donor waiting list, and about 300 people die each year waiting for an organ transplant. The new law is expected to add more than 250,000 potential donors to the registry; parents and legal guardians would still have the final say until their child turns 18.
To join the registry, residents can visit https://www.ilsos.gov/organdonorregister/, call 1-800-210-2106 or visit their nearest Secretary of State facility.
“Signing up to be an organ donor is quick and easy, and it means that you could save someone’s life someday,” said Scherer. “By expanding the organ donor registry to younger teenagers, this new law will help increase donations and reduce the number of people on the waiting list.”
House Bill 1805 passed with bipartisan support and will take effect on Jan. 1.