Published 12/1/2007
Jennie McKee

AAOS endorses Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act

According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, more than 98,000 Americans needed lifesaving organ transplants as of November 2007. Approximately 20 patients die every day because they don’t receive those organs, says the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

In response to these alarming statistics, the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) recently created the 2006 Revised Uniform Anatomical Gift Act (2006 UAGA) to enhance the systems for allocating organs to transplant recipients among the states. At its September meeting, the AAOS Board of Directors endorsed the 2006 UAGA, which has already been enacted by nearly 30 states.

Among its many provisions, the 2006 UAGA simplifies the “document of gift,” the paperwork that a person fills out to become an organ donor, and also recognizes driver’s license donation forms as valid. It also authorizes and provides protocols for states to create donor registries, and allows organ procurement organizations to access donor registries, medical records, and motor vehicle records to locate documents of gift.

“Rarely do we, as virtual legislators, have the opportunity to literally save people’s lives,” said Howard J. Swibel, president of NCCUSL, referring to the 2006 UAGA. “This is such an opportunity, and we must seize it in earnest, because thousands are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants.”

For more information on the 2006 UAGA, visit www.anatomicalgiftact.org

Jennie McKee is a staff writer for AAOS Now. She can be reached at mckee@aaos.org