News Article

NJ Looking For More Organ Donors

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. April 8, 2013

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Health Commissioner Mary O'Dowd at Statehouse news conference (photo courtesy Tim Larsen/Governor's Office)

New Jersey officials are urging more people to register as organ donors.

About 5,000 New Jersey residents are among the 117,000 nationwide on the waiting list to get organ and tissue donations.

Joe Roth is CEO of the New Jersey Sharing Network that supports organ donor families and research.

He says some people are reluctant to sign up as an organ donor.

 “The big one we always hear is religious prohibitions, and there are really no major religious prohibitions. We hear these stories that they’re not going to save my life in a hospital if they know I’m an organ donor, which is not true.”

Health Commissioner Mary O’Dowd says while the number of minorities registering as organ donors is increasing in some parts of the state, ethnic and racial groups still have a higher percentage of people in need of transplants.

“In New Jersey minorities represent 60 percent of those on a waiting list while accounting for 36 percent of living and 46 percent of deceased donors. A diverse pool of donors increases the chances that patients from all racial and ethnic groups can successfully be treated with donation.”

34 percent of New Jersey drivers have signed up as organ donors, and Governor Christie is hoping the awareness campaign will encourage more people to register.

“I’ve been an organ donor for years on the drivers license check off. I would encourage anybody out there who hasn’t done it to do it. I think it’s incredibly important for saving lives.”

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