The organ donation registry was named after Texas State Representative Glenda Dawson, who was an organ recipient herself, having received a kidney from her sister. Dawson died in 2006, shortly after the registry went into effect. The registry is a state database containing the names of people who have agreed to donate organs, eyes, and tissue for transplants. Laura Frnka with Houston’s LifeGift organ donation center says that agreement is legally binding.
“Even though this is the case we really encourage people to talk to their families about the decision that they’re making so, you know, when something happens, if something should happen, they’re not taken aback or surprised by your decision.”
And Frnka says while they’re encouraged by the new numbers, Texas lags behind other states when it comes to organ donation agreements. She says part of the reason is that a lot of people who got their drivers’ licenses prior to 2006 are under the impression they’re already on the registry.
“They think they signed up to be a donor, because they got a donor designation sticker on their license. That does not mean anything. That was your intent to be a donor. It was not your consent.”
LifeGift says about 10-thousand Texans are now waiting for organ transplants. About three-thousand of those people are in the Houston area. You can sign up for the registry at your local DPS office, go to the website www.donatelifetexas.org.
Gail Delaughter KUHF News.