An Indiana lawmaker wants to keep organs donated by Hoosiers in Indiana

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INDIANA (WEHT)– A state lawmaker is working to keep organs donated by Hoosiers in Indiana. The announcement of Representative Ron Bacon’s proposed bill comes right after an Evansville teen donated his organs after passing away on Christmas Eve.

We aired video last week of the honor walk for 13-year-old Glennden “Superman” Stovall. His family made the decision to give the gift of life to someone else in his memory.

Now Representative Bacon wants to make sure Hoosiers are helped first when a Hoosier is the one giving life.

At least two teens in Southern Indiana donated their organs after dying in 2019. We were there for the honor walks for both Glennden Stovall and Mason Dogard. Now after they have given their gift. State Representative Ron Bacon wants gifts like theirs to stay in the Hoosier state. It started after a conversation with the state organ procurement organization.

“They were the ones that informed me that the federal government made some new rules and we’re working on some new rules to affect where the organ goes after it was procured from the donor,” State Rep. Ron Bacon says
“And they were very concerned that more organs are going to be leaving Indiana and going to higher populated areas where they have more people on the list that need organs. But less people, less percentage of people that are organ donors.”

Bacon says in Indiana around 75 percent of the people are organ donors. But places like California and new york fall well below that.

The Indiana Donor Network says:
“114,000 people are waiting for a lifesaving organ transplant and 1,300 of those patients are here in Indiana.”

They also explain what factors go into deciding who gets the organ.

“Recipients are determined based on clinical factors such as blood type, proximity to the donor and medical urgency. “

Bacon says the decision would be made when getting a license or ID.

“When you go to the BMV and you put on your license that you are an organ donor you can also designate that you wanted to stay in Indiana if it’s a match,” State Rep. Bacon says.

But there would be a choice.

“If you don’t care that’s fine you don’t need to do that. So if you don’t care where it goes or who gets it then the individual who is donating the organ can do it that way,” State Rep. Bacon explains.

For Bacon the big thing is, keeping organs in the state.

“So then we have the opportunity to keep it in Indiana where it has a better chance of being utilized by an Indiana resident.”

Bacon says if there is not someone in the Hoosier state that matches the donated organ, it would be up for whoever needs it outside of the state.
A hearing date for Bacon’s bill has not been set but general assembly reconvenes January 6th.

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(This story was originally published on December 30, 2019)

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