Gov. Holcomb signs legislation: Hoosiers can say ‘yes’ to saving lives when applying for professional licenses
March 9, 2022
Indiana first state to require donation question be asked during licensing process
INDIANAPOLIS – More than 20% of Hoosiers who hold professional licenses will soon have a new opportunity to sign up and become lifesaving organ and tissue donors, and Indiana has made history in the process.
Authored by Republican Sens. Blake Doriot (Dist. 12) and Ed Charbonneau (Dist. 5), Senate Enrolled Act 260 requires the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency to ask all license applicants and those seeking a license renewal if they wish to become an organ and tissue donor. A wide variety of occupations require a professional license, including nurses, hair stylists, accountants, dentists, plumbers, physical therapists and real estate agents, among others.
The bill first passed through the Indiana Senate with a 46-0 vote, then passed the Indiana House of Representatives with a 76-8 vote. Gov. Holcomb signed the bill into law March 7.
“This new legislation will no doubt increase the number of Hoosiers who want to give the gift of life,” said Tim Clauson, president of the board of directors of Donate Life Indiana, the organization responsible for managing the state’s donor registry and raising awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education.
Indiana is the first U.S. state to require the donation question to be asked of those seeking professional licenses or renewals.
When the donation question is implemented into the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency’s process, it will be the fifth way Hoosiers can register to become organ and tissue donors. They can also say “yes” to donation when applying for a hunting, fishing or trapping license; at local Bureau of Motor Vehicle branches throughout the state; online at DonateLifeIndiana.org; and through Apple’s Health app.
When someone signs up as a donor, they are automatically authorized for organ donation at the end of their life if they are medically eligible to donate. Eight lives can be saved through organ donation and up to 75 people can be healed through tissue donation. Others can gain sight through cornea donation. Indiana Donor Network, the federally designated organ procurement organization for 85 of Indiana’s 92 counties, coordinates the donation and transplantation process.
“Last year, as a result of Gov. Holcomb’s passage of Senate Enrolled Act 288 in 2020, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources began asking hunters, anglers and trappers to sign up as organ donors when purchasing online licenses. Now, the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency will do the same for licensees. This is one more step in making it as easy as possible for Hoosiers to sign up as organ, tissue and eye donors,” Clauson said.
Right now, more than 106,000 Americans are waiting on a lifesaving organ transplant, including nearly 1,100 Hoosiers. More than 4.2 million Hoosiers are registered organ donors.
Despite age or medical history, anyone can sign up to be a donor online at Donate Life Indiana.
About Donate Life Indiana
Since 1998, Donate Life Indiana has been the state-authorized nonprofit organization responsible for managing the Indiana donor registry. Its mission is to save lives by creating opportunities for all Indiana citizens to sign up on the organization’s official state registry while striving to raise awareness for organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation through public education. For more, visit Donate Life Indiana online.