Iowa Governor Chet Culver has signed into law a measure that brings Iowa in line with nationwide standards for organ donation and procurement. Paul Sodders, Public Relations Manager with the Iowa Donor Network, helped to write the updated regulations. Even if you’ve made the decision to donate, he says in some states relatives can veto that plan, but Sodders says Iowa had a law on the books to block that.
If you’d legally signed up with the Iowa Donor Registry to say you wanted to be a donor at the time of your death, the law prevents family members or others from coming forward after your death to change what you wanted to happen. Sodders says that Iowa law solves a problem others grapple with, and was adopted as part of the national standards. If you die without making the decision, Sodders says the standards expand the list of people doctors may ask about donating your organs.
If there was no "Document of Gift" on a donor registry, they’ve had the right to go to survivors and ask permission for a spouse or adult child to approve harvesting organs for donation. The new law includes grandparents and grandchildren among those who can grant permission. Sodders says there are about 400 people in Iowa waiting for organ transplants right now, and some 90-thousand across the country.