Bill aims to increase organ donors in Texas

Image 1 of 2

Texas drivers could soon be the first in the country to have to opt out of being organ donors.

State Rep. Jason Villalba, a Republican from Dallas, wrote a bill that would change the wording on the application to assume that all Texas drivers want to be donors.

“Currently when you go to the DMV to get your driver’s license you sign up and you check a box saying, ‘I would like to join the donor registry.’ We’re just changing that box to say, ‘I would like to be excluded from the donor registry,” he said.

Villalba said people would still have a choice – yes or no. There’s also a disclaimer at the bottom of the application that says people who fail to check either box will be excluded.

“All we’re doing is changing the protocol so that we can save lives in Texas,” he said.

Texas would be the first in the nation to make the change. But the same thing has been done in Europe and places like Spain have seen an increase in organ donors by about 30 percent.

Villalba said since the idea is new and bold it may take several sessions for the bill to be approved.

“We’re hopeful and cautiously optimistic, but I’m not certain we’re going to get all the way to the governor’s desk this time,” he said.

The law would only apply to first-time driver’s license applicants and those looking to renew their licenses who are over 18.