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Bills in Michigan Legislature would let you register to be an organ donor when you file taxes

The bills would allow people to sign up to be organ donors when they file state taxes.
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The bills would allow people to sign up to be organ donors when they file state taxes.

The state House approved bills 4362, 4363, and 4364 that aim to increase the number of people who are organ donors.

The bills would add a question to annual state income tax forms. If you check "yes," you would be added to the organ donor registry.

Patrick Wells-O'Brien, the Vice President of Communications and External Relations for Gift of Life Michigan, said in-person recruitment noticeably dropped after pandemic-era lockdowns.

He said organ donor registration has been at an all-time low since 2008, and that 95% of Michigan's organ donors register at the Secretary of State.

"Currently, in the state of Michigan, 2,400 Michiganders are waiting for a life-saving organ," said Wells-O'Brien. "And for many of them, if there is no organ donor and no organ transplant, there's no other medical remedy for them."

Wells-O'Brien said just one donor can save multiple lives.

"Up to eight people, from one organ donor, can be saved. Plus, another 75 people through tissue donations," said Wells-O'Brien. "So that one 'yes,' that heart on your license, could have a tremendous impact for someone else and provide great comfort and solace to your family."

The bills next go to the state Senate for consideration.

Priya Vijayakumar started her Newsroom Internship in January 2023. She is interested in science/health reporting and making the facts more accessible to all!
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