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April 5, 2000

Governor Ryan Urges US Senate To Adopt An Equitable Organ Transplant Allocation Program

SPRINGFIELD - Governor George H. Ryan today reiterated his opposition to a proposed nationwide organ donor system that ignores the needs of individual patients and could prevent transplant recipients from receiving needed operations because of where they live.

On Tuesday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 2418, which undercut recent transplant regulations proposed by US Department of Health and Human Services. Those HHS regulations would create a more equitable system of organ allocation - a system based on the needs of individual patients and not on arbitrary geographic boundaries.

"I urge Members of the US Senate to defeat any bill that preserves the current system of organ allocation, which sometimes ignores the needs of individual patients," Ryan said. "We need a sensible, fair program for distributing organs to those patients who are most in need. There should not be a difference from one region or one state of the United States to another."

Last year in Illinois more than 288 died waiting to receive an organ. Despite a high in-state donor rate, as of April 1, 2000, there were 4088 Illinois citizens on the waiting list for organ transplants.

Governor Ryan praised Congressmen Ray LaHood (R-Peoria) and Bobby Rush (D-Chicago) for their efforts on this critical issue, including the sponsorship of an amendment to HR 2418, which provides for the equitable distribution of organs. Unfortunately, this amendment failed by a 100 vote margin.


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