Lawmaker wants pathway for Utah inmates to be organ donors

Jan 31 2013 - 11:16am

SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah lawmaker wants to clear the way for inmates to become organ donors.

Republican Rep. Steve Eliason of Sandy is sponsoring legislation that would set up a formal process for prisoners to register on the donation list.

The Daily Herald reports Eliason told fellow lawmakers during debate that it's unclear whether it's allowed under current law, and his bill would settle that.

A spokesman for Utah's corrections department says inmates have been signing up to become donors in the past year.

Spokesman Steve Gehrke says doctors are not as likely to accept inmate organ donations because of their risks for contracting diseases such as hepatitis while in prison.

The House unanimously approved the proposal Wednesday and it now goes to the Senate for consideration.


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