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PRESS RELEASE

Contact:  Nina Rhea, Director, Pro-Life Action of Oregon

nina@prolifeactionoforegon.org

February 4, 2011 (Portland, Ore) The Oregon legislature is considering passage of a bill which would provide tax credits to living donors of vital organs such as a kidney or partial liver. Living donors would be rewarded with a maximum $1,000 tax credit. The bill has been referred to the Revenue Committee.

H.B. 2842 “Tax Credits for Organ Transplants”

[http://www.leg.state.or.us/11reg/measures/hb2800.dir/hb2842.intro.html] is sponsored by Rep. Dave Hunt, the Democratic Leader of Oregon’s house. He was unwilling to make a comment for this story.

The implied purpose of the bill is to increase organ supply for transplant programs.

The most aggressive marketing outreach for procurement of organs is done by Donate Life Northwest, formerly known as the Organ Donor Program. DLN exists to spread organ transplant propaganda in our community, including schools.

According to DLN’s executive director, Mary Jane Hunt, DLN educates school children “so they will become future generations of donors.” DLN was founded by a large network of transplantation advocates known as the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS).

DLN’s cheerful glossy propaganda pamphlets are in every Department of Motor Vehicles to entice young drivers to donate their organs. When asked whether donors are provided information to consent to organ donating, Mrs. Hunt replied that “it’s not the role of the DMV to educate; it’s presumed they’ve been informed on their own or in the schools.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the leading cause of death among teenagers from 16 to 19 years of age is traffic accidents. The DMV is a willing accomplice in organ procurement.

Nina Rhea, director of Pro-Life Action of Oregon comments:

“No one is paying attention to the not-so-subtle predatory nature of the marketing to teenagers and young adults to put on their driver’s license the letter ‘D’ for organ donor. The time has come for pro-life advocates to sit up and take notice. The coalition of organ donor programs, though legal, look suspiciously cannibalistic.

“So, now comes this bill in Oregon, the state with a poor record on child protection and abortion clinic regulation. Known as the first state with the horrific Physician’s Assisted Suicide law, Oregon may now become the first state with an equally horrific monetary incentive to increase organ supply.

“If this bill passes, the vulnerable unemployed, poor, disabled, and homeless may be easy prey. Is Oregon a state without shame?

“The risks to living donors is bleak: weakness or death. The National Institutes of Health [http://www.nih-livingdonor.org/] is in the process of conducting a study ‘to collect information on the outcomes of living donors over time. There are some scientific questions regarding the effects of stress on the remaining organ. There could be subtle medical problems that do not develop until decades after the living donation that are not known at this time because living donation is a relatively new medical procedure.’”

Note:  the original link is no longer found and it was

http://www.organdonor.gov/donation/typesofdonation.htm.

“Every time an organ is donated, the living person becomes weaker or dies,” warns Dr. Paul A. Byrne, a bioethicist and practicing neonatologist in Ohio. “For example, it has been reported that a healthy man donated part of his liver to his brother and he died in the process [http://www.foxnews.com/health/2010/08/16/man-dies-donating-liver-brother-1560945836/] . It was said that it was unusual but they looked around and found that five other persons had died this way.” The hospital where the man died suspended its liver transplant operations.

When asked whether Oregon’s proposed bill, if passed, will ultimately lead to buying and selling vital organs outright, Dr. Byrne replied, “Of course it does. However, under the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, a tax credit may not be legal. It puts dollars and cents onto your organs. The UAGA makes it illegal to sell organs.

Dr. Byrne believes very strongly that the UAGA is a terrible law. “Prior to this law, a person who consented to donate their organs had to be ‘of sound mind.’ The UAGA removed ‘of sound mind.’”

“In organ transplantation, the donor is always living, the heart is always beating,” said Dr. Byrne. “A donor must always have circulation. The criteria used for transplantation is ‘brain death’ which is not real death.”

He described the Utilitarian business of vital organ procurement, in which vital organs are referred to as “body parts,” as a contributor to the Culture of Death.

“It’s like the human being is a machine,” he continued. “We’re not machines. We’re made in the image and likeness of God. Our life is a gift.”


Dr. Paul A. Byrne, a Neonatologist, is Director of Neonatology and Director of Pediatrics at St. Charles Mercy Hospital in Oregon, Ohio, is Clinical Professor of Pediatrics University of Toledo College of Medicine, Board Certified in Pediatrics and Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Member of Fellowship of Catholic Scholars.  He is available for interviews. He can be contacted at PAB@thelifeguardian.org.   Websites: http://lifeguardianfoundation.org/default.html and he writes a column at http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/byrne .

Rep. Dave Hunt can be reached at 503-986-1900. Email: rep.davehunt@state.or.us .

Mary Jane Hunt (no relation), Exec. Dir. of Donate Life Northwest, can be reached at the Oregon Health Sciences University Transplant Program 503-494-2288. Websites: www.donatelifenw.org http://www.ohsu.edu/transplant/

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