For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Johnson
Media Relations Coordinator
Phone: 1-800-462-0755 ext. 1056
Donate Life SC and SCDMV Launch Organ & Tissue Donor Registry
Greenville, S.C. Dec. 23, 2008 – South Carolinians now have the ability to register their legal consent to be an organ and tissue donor by visiting any South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV) office. Persons who obtain or renew any class driver license, beginner permit or identification card and consent to being an organ/tissue donor will receive a credential with a new heart symbol surrounded by a circle. The individual’s registration information will then be placed into the secure, newly-created South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.
Every 11 minutes another person is added to the national transplant waiting list. There are approximately 750 people currently on the South Carolina waiting list. Until now, there has not been a list or a registry in South Carolina for those who want to register to be donors. Historically, signing a donor card and getting the red heart on one’s driver’s license/ID served as an important symbol of intent to be a donor, however, neither action actually placed the individual’s name on a list or registry. A person’s next of kin or legal guardian made the final decision about donation at the time of death.
By registering to be an organ/tissue donor in the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, consent is no longer required from any other person unless the donor is under the age of 18. For minors under the age of 18, the parent or legal guardian will also be required to consent at the time of donation.
“We are very pleased that South Carolina now joins the majority of other states that have donor registries. DLSC is proud to provide a newly-created secure way for individuals to register their desire to be organ and tissue donors in order to save and improve lives,” says Tracy Rachele, DLSC Executive Director. The registry will aid in making matches for transplantable organs and tissue, and, ultimately will help reduce the number of people waiting on organ and tissue transplants in S.C.
LifePoint President and CEO Nancy A. Kay, adds, “I believe that over time, the registry will be a meaningful resource allowing us to honor the donor’s wishes and giving potential donor families the knowledge of their loved one’s desire to become a donor.”
The South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry was established per House Bill 3317 and signed into law by Governor Mark Sanford on June 14, 2007. Under this law, DLSC has worked with the SCDMV to develop the registry which guarantees that the plans of registered donors will be carried out following death.
Donate Life South Carolina will hold the official launch of the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry on Jan. 14, 2009. At this time, the online portion of the registry will be added and then anyone can join the registry by a secure online Web site. A statewide marketing and awareness campaign will also be launched along with the online portion of the registry. In a partnership to promote the registry, and to bring awareness to the need for more organ and tissue donors, Donate Life South Carolina and LifePoint are working together on this project.
You have the power to Donate Life. Sign up today to become an organ and tissue donor. One person’s generosity can save up to eight lives through organ donation and enhance the lives of another 50 people through tissue donation.
For more information about the South Carolina Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, or to simply learn more about organ and tissue donation, contact Mark Johnson, Media Relations Coordinator for LifePoint, at 1-800-462-0755 or 843-763-7755 ext. 1056.
About Donate Life South Carolina
Donate Life South Carolina is the organization whose mission is to promote organ and tissue donation for transplantation and provide patient assistance for South Carolina transplant recipients. Donate Life South Carolina will also develop and maintain the soon-to-be launched South Carolina Donor Registry.
LifePoint works to increase awareness about the need for more organ and tissue donors in South Carolina and is the designated Organ Procurement Organization (OPO) for organ recovery services in the state. LifePoint actively provides organ, tissue and ocular donor services to 62 hospitals throughout the state. LifePoint also helps support and educate families at an emotionally devastating time, so they can make well-informed decisions about organ and tissue donation.