New bill could make Texans automatic organ donors

Tuesday, February 28, 2017
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This would be a first-in-the-nation law on organ donations, if it is passed

AUSTIN (KTRK) -- Critics say while the intention behind this bill is good, it can cause big issues because it "presumes consent."

A lawmaker in Austin wants to automatically register you and other Texans as an organ donor, unless you specifically "opt out."

Donate Life Texas, the state's organ and tissue registry, is opposing House Bill 1938.

The bill will be a first of its kind in the United States, if it passes.

Dallas State Rep. Jason Villalba authored it.

The bill says it would only apply to first-time driver's license holders and renewals- over the age of 18.

The bill would require license holders be given two notices, alerting them they can opt out.

And that's why Donate Life Texas says this bill may result in fewer registrations, because it will remind people to opt-out over and over again.

Some critics also say this bill will take advantage of people who don't understand the opt-out system.

As it stands, there are about 9.2 million registered donors.

About 120,000 people are on the transplant waiting list, and 22 people die every day in this country waiting for an organ match.