ILLINOIS (KFVS) - Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 1805, also known as the Drive for Life Act, on Tuesday, August 8.
The bill received bipartisan support and allowed 16 and 17 year olds to express their wishes to become organ and tissue donors. Signing the bill into law would give hundreds of thousands of additional Illinoisans the opportunity to join the registry each year.
"So many people are waiting for life-saving organ transplants," Gov. Rauner said. "In Illinois alone, more than 4,700 people are on the waiting list, and every year, around 300 people die waiting for a transplant. It's tragic. We need to give everyone who wants to become an organ donor the opportunity to do so, and that's exactly what this bill does."
The Drive for Life Act would allow Illinois residents 16 years old and older to join the First Person Consent Organ and Tissue donor registry when they receive their driver's licenses or state ID cards. While the law gives 16 and 17 year olds the right to express their wishes to become an organ donor, parents and guardians still will have the right to give or revoke consent until the donor turns 18.
Illinois joins 47 other states that currently allow 16 and 17 year olds to register as organ donors.