A bill may pass in Denver that turns all residents of Colorado into automatic organ donors. Senate Bill 11-042 is up for consideration by the Colorado state legislature and it would give “presumed consent” that all Colorado residents agree to be an organ donor.
Colorado is already at the top of the nation for voluntary organ donors at 66 percent of the state agreeing to donate. Those who wish may opt out by specifically notifying the DMV.
The “presumed consent” for organ donation is common for many European countries including Austria, Belgium and Spain. In the United States, Delaware, Illinois and New York already rejected bills similar to this one. If Colorado passes Senate Bill 11-042 then we will be the first state in the Union to agree to “presumed consent.”
Some people argue that the automatic organ donor bill takes away people’s choices and it is not donating if it is mandated. However, those who feel strongly against this do have the option to opt out and the issue may be the fear of lack of awareness.
Those in favor of this bill argue that although Colorado tops the nation as organ donors, there are still not enough organs for those in need. Of course, there is also the argument of, “Why should you care what happens to your organs? You’re dead.”
However, the right to volunteer as an organ donor is a personal choice. Organ donation would occur after death. This bill would not allow the government to come in and take a person’s organs whenever they want. The Colorado Donor Registry allows those who are current or future donors to change their minds by sending a letter to them with their decision.
Colorado residents who are uncomfortable with stating that they are organ donors can also voice their desire to family. If you are not a donor at the time of your death, your family can still decide on your behalf.