Legislation was recently introduced in both the North Carolina House of Representative and Senate which would amend the existing Heart Prevails Law to include tissue donation and ultimately save more lives.
Current North Carolina Heart Prevails law restricts tissue donation and only covers organ and eye donation when residents designate their decisions and say yes to donation when obtaining their drivers’ license or state-issued ID cards at the DMV. North Carolina is the only state in the nation where tissue for transplantation is not included in the first-person authorization at the DMV.
“The heart emblem on a North Carolina drivers’ license or state ID indicates one’s decision to be an organ and eye donor. We want to change this to include tissue donation and ultimately save more lives,” said Rep. Murphy of Greenville.
To become a tissue donor, North Carolinians must take an extra step and go online at Register as a Donor. The Heart Heroes legislation would streamline this process and eliminate the need to take the extra step, in which only half a percent of all people who registered to donate did in 2018.
“Organ, eye and tissue donation is the ultimate gift, the gift of life, said Danielle Niedfeldt, RN, JD, President and CEO, HonorBridge. “One donor can save and heal the lives of more than 75 people. We commend the actions of Representatives Murphy, Potts, Sasser, and Dobson to introduce this lifesaving Heart Heroes legislation and the bipartisan support it has captured.”
Each year, one in 20 Americans will require some type of tissue transplant. Donated tissue is used in many daily surgical applications to restore mobility, strength and hope to people in need. Donated tissue helps save lives for patients with severe burns, defective heart valves, bone cancer, breast reconstruction, and torn ligaments or tendons.