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February 21, 2006 > Gift of life congressional medal act

Gift of life congressional medal act

This year, U.S. Representative Pete Stark has introduced the Gift of Life Congressional Medal Act. This legislation recognizes the brave act of organ donation by making each donor or donor family eligible to receive a commemorative Congressional medal. Senator Bill Frist, M.D., a transplant surgeon, has introduced companion legislation in the Senate.

"Over 90,000 people are currently waiting for an organ transplant, including more than 2,200 children under age 18," Stark said. "In 2004 alone, over 6,150 people died for lack of a suitable organ. The unfortunate truth is that the rate of organ donation is failing to keep up with demand. Despite technological advances that have made transplants safer and more effective, many Americans continue to be denied the organs they need to survive. I wish to encourage more Americans to become donors by honoring the self-less act of organ donation."

The Gift of Life Congressional Medal Act establishes a nonprofit fund for the design, production, and distribution of Congressional Medals of Honor to organ donors or to their surviving family members. Enactment of this legislation would have no net cost to the Federal Government and is designed to bring an end to transplant waiting lists.

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