SPONSOR: Johnson (Barry)

COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Civil and Administrative Law by a vote of 12 to 3.

This substitute makes several changes to the law governing organ donation and the selling of fetal tissue. In its main provisions, the substitute:

(1) Establishes a statewide program to provide assistance for renal disease patients (Section 172.875, RSMo);

(2) Allows minors 16 and 17 years of age to make an organ donation upon their death, with the consent of a parent or guardian (Section 194.220);

(3) Requires hospitals to contact the appropriate organ procurement organization when a patient is near death and sets forth the process by which an organ donation may be performed (Section 194.233);

(4) Allows the procurement of eyes to be done by an enucleator, which is a person who is not a surgeon, but has been trained specifically for this procedure (Section 194.240);

(5) Revises the method by which the Department of Revenue secures organ donation consent from driver's license applicants by including a request for such consent on the application and renewal form and by placing the evidence of consent on the front of the license. The substitute also allows organ transplant officials access to this information 24 hours a day via access to the department's data base (Section 194.243);

(6) Clarifies that a validly executed donor card is sufficient evidence of the desire to donate organs, and consent immediately before death is not necessary to render the gift valid (Section 194.245);

(7)   Requires  the department to place on state income tax forms a requestof
for donations to the organ donor program (Section 194.249);

(8) Allows law enforcement and emergency medical personnel to search for a person's organ donation card when that person appears to be near death. Anything found during such a search would be inadmissable in any legal proceeding, unless it is obtained pursuant to a lawful search on other grounds (Section 194.266);

(9) Grants civil and criminal immunity to any hospital or physician who executes the requirements of the organ donation process in good faith (Section 194.293);

(10) Changes the makeup of the Department of Health's Organ Donation Advisory Committee (Section 194.300);

(11) Prohibits the transfer of human fetal tissue for valuable consideration without the written consent of the mother and without disclosing to the Department of Health the names of the parties involved, the date of the transfer, and the consideration given. The substitute also prohibits the shipping of fetal tissue without disclosing to the carrier that the shipment contains fetal tissue. These prohibitions do not apply to the burial or cremation of fetal tissue. Violation of this section is a class A misdemeanor (Section 194.345);

(12) Allows the Department of Revenue's driver's license applicant forms to ask for "a donation" rather than a "one dollar donation" to promote the organ donation program (Section 302.171); and

(13) Repeals a section of law that becomes ineffective as of January 1, 2001, because it was enacted in two different bills last year with different effective dates (bracketed Section 302.171).

FISCAL NOTE: Estimated Net Cost to Highway Fund of $125,544 in FY 2001, $55,924 in FY 2002, and $57,315 in FY 2003. Estimated Net Increase to Organ Donor Program Fund of $1,148,732 in FY 2001, $1,379,435 in FY 2002, and $1,379,421 in FY 2003. Estimated Net Cost to General Revenue Fund of $70,000 to $2,320,000 in FY 2001, $71,750 to $2,321,750 in FY 2002, and $73,544 to $2,323,544 in FY 2003.

PROPONENTS: Supporters say that currently, driver's license applicants are not provided with any information about the organ donation process. This bill will provide that information efficiently, via the agency's Internet web site.

Testifying for the bill was Senator Johnson.

OPPONENTS: There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Richard Smreker, Legislative Analyst