A bill sponsored by Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon that would allow minors as young as 14 years old register as organ donors was passed overwhelmingly, 74-0, in the Assembly on Thursday. Currently, the youngest a person can register as a organ donor in New Jersey is 18. The legislation gives parents of minor organ donors the ability to overrule the registration.
O’Scanlon worked on the bill with the NJ Sharing Network, the nonprofit organization that manages the state’s organ transplant system.
“Children in need of organ transplants usually require organs smaller than those an adult can provide,” said O’Scanlon (R-Monmouth). “Teens will be empowered to memorialize their wishes. The act is both selfless and admirable. The bill may also help to provide parents both guidance and comfort during a time of unimaginable loss.”
The Monmouth County legislator said the initiative is an opportunity for the Legislature to save lives.
“The higher we can get our organ donation registry rates the more lives we’ll save – it’s as simple as that,” said O’Scanlon. “By starting the discussion early in people’s lives, and giving them every opportunity to register, we will unquestionably increase participation rates.