(TRENTON) – Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Herb Conaway and Raj Mukherji to require health insurance carriers, SBHP, and SEHBP to disseminate information about organ and tissue donation received final legislative approval Thursday and now heads to the governor’s desk.
The bill (A-4230), which supplements the “Health Care Quality Act,” would require carriers to provide to subscribers written informational materials about organ and tissue donation and registration at each contract renewal.
“An opportunity to share information on tissue and organ donation is a chance to save a life,” said Conaway (D-Burlington). “One person can help or save more than 50 lives through tissue and organ donation. With this legislation, we can reach more residents and, hopefully, encourage more people to consider becoming a donor.”
According to the NJ Sharing Network, over 2.5 million New Jersey are registered organ and tissue donors. More than 122, 000 people nationwide are waiting for a life-saving organ transplant and nearly 5,000 in New Jersey residents. In 2015, 95 people died while waiting at a New Jersey transplant center.
“Organ and tissue donation saves many lives every year,” said Mukherji (D-Hudson). “A tissue donor, for example, can help patients facing life-threatening burns or restore hope and mobility to military men and women whose bones or joints have been injured in combat. More donors could mean shorter waiting lists and saving more lives in New Jersey.”
The materials would be developed or approved by a federally designated organ procurement organization, and would inform subscribers as to how to make an anatomical gift, including information on the registration of a gift in the Donate Life New Jersey registry.
The bill was approved 38-0 by the Senate on June 22, and 71-0 by the Assembly in November.