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Governor Jerry Brown Signs Bill Ensuring Organ & Tissue Donation in Coroners’ Cases

CSCA Logo - colorSAN DIEGO, Calif., Sept. 24, 2013 – Governor Jerry Brown today signed a bill into law that will help Donate Life California, the state’s four organ procurement organizations (OPOs), and the county coroner and medical examiner offices ensure that a donor’s intent is honored and more lives are saved by organ and tissue transplantation.

AB 1297 (Pérez, 2013) recognizes and clarifies in the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act the relationship between the federally authorized OPOs and the coroners in what is known as “imminent” coroner jurisdiction cases. Because there is a very narrow time window between the declaration of death and the commencement of organ recovery by the OPO, it is vitally important that the coroner and the OPO work together. AB 1297 codifies the technical aspect of that partnership to ensure that both entities carry out their respective missions.

“More than 10 million Californians have said “YES!” to organ and tissue donation. By signing AB 1297, Governor Brown supports our state’s organ and tissue recovery personnel in fulfilling their legal obligation to honor a donor’s wishes,” said Lisa Stocks, president of Donate Life California. “California’s OPOs have wonderful working relationships with the many coroners across the state and we are grateful for their help in the organ and tissue recovery process.”

“We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with Donate Life California and the legislature to pass this bill,” said Gregory Wyatt, President of the California State Coroners Association. “It helps ensure all efforts are made to honor a donor’s wish and save lives while helping us meet our important responsibility to confirm cause of death.”

Right now, more than 21,000 people in California are on the national organ transplant waiting list. These people will die without a life-saving transplant. Donate Life California’s mission is to save lives by inspiring people to sign up with the state organ and tissue donor registry.

About Donate Life California:
The Donate Life California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry is the nonprofit, state-authorized organ and tissue donor registry which records the decision to donate in a secure, confidential database that is searched by authorized organ and tissue recovery personnel at the time of an actual donation opportunity. It is administered by Donate Life California and California’s four nonprofit, federally designated organ recovery organizations: Donor Network West , Lifesharing, OneLegacy and Sierra Donor Services. For more information about the Donate Life California Registry, how donation saves and improves lives, and to sign up, please visit or

Brianne Mundy
Program Manager
Donate Life California

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