Illinois teens can now join organ donor registry

Illinois teens can now join organ donor registry

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CHICAGO (WEEK) -- -

A bill signed Tuesday will allow 16 and 17-year-olds to join the organ and tissue donor registries. 

The Drive for Life Act will allow Illinoisans 16 or older to join the donor registry when they receive a driver's license or state ID card. The teens can join the registry, but a parent or guardian will still have the right to give or revoke consent until their child turns 18. 

“So many people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants,” Gov. Bruch Rauner said. “In Illinois alone, more than 4,700 people are on the waiting list, and every year, around 300 people die waiting for a transplant. It’s tragic. We need to give everyone who wants to become an organ donor the opportunity to do so, and that’s exactly what this bill does.”

“My goal for the Illinois Secretary of State's Organ and Tissue Donor program is to save lives by ensuring that organs and tissue are available for those in need,” Secretary of State White said. “This new law is a major step toward reaching that goal. I was proud to work with the advocacy groups, legislators and the governor to help make this law a reality.”

Forty-seven other states also allow 16 and 17-year-olds to join donor registries. 

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