Organ Donor Outrage

MO member rsheidler writes:
I have long been designated as an organ donor, as is each member of my family. I work in a medical center and see the lives saved as a result.
However, according to information on the AMA web site, a bill is being considered in New Mexico, which stipulates that any helmetless motorcyclists who are killed are considered to be organ donors without regard to their or their families wishes. This is a total ourtage.

Why single out motorcyclists? Why not include drivers who fail to wear seatbelts, who drive while intoxicated, or while talking on cell phones?

AMA outraged over mandatory biker organ-donor bill
Jan. 30 – The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has expressed its outrage at a proposed law in New Mexico that could make some motorcyclists into forced organ donors.

The proposal, introduced in the New Mexico Legislature by state Sen. Allen Hurt (R-Waterflow), would allow the harvesting of organs from any motorcyclist who doesn't wear a helmet and is declared brain dead as a result of an accident. Hurt's bill, designated Senate Bill 239, specifically states that: "a person operating a motorcycle without a helmet and who, as the result of an accident, is pronounced brain dead pursuant to Section 12-2-4 NMSA 1978 by a licensed physician shall become an organ donor regardless of whether the person made an anatomical gift by completing the organ donor statement…"

If the bill becomes law, it would take effect on July 1.

The AMA, which represents more than 250,000 motorcyclists across the country, said that Hurt's proposal represents a new low in the relationship between anti-motorcycling government officials and riders.

"Organ donation is a noble cause that truly can represent the gift of life for people faced with some terminal illnesses," noted Sean Maher, AMA director of state affairs. "But making the commitment to become an organ donor must remain a private decision left to each person.

"Classifying an entire group of citizens as nothing more than organs to be harvested isn't just demeaning to motorcyclists, it's offensive to all Americans," he said.

The AMA is organizing opposition to the Hurt proposal. New Mexico motorcyclists can help by going to the StateWatch section of the AMA Rapid Response Center. There, they can send letters of protest to their state lawmakers.

© 2002, American Motorcyclist Association
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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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