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Friday, April 28, 2017

LGBT People Encouraged to be Organ Donors

Written by  David Taffet; Dallasvoice.com

Dallas, Texas – Unlike blood, LGBT people and those who are HIV-positive are encouraged to donate organs. Donate Life Texas is the only official organ and tissue donor registry in Texas. The group’s head, Suzy Miller, wants the LGBT community to know during April – National Donate Life Month – that their organ donations are welcome. To get word out to the LGBT community, Donate Life Texas plans to exhibit at the Dallas Pride Festival in September.

Blood banks focus on whether the potential donor is gay and reject all blood from someone who has had a same-sex sexual contact. Hospitals doing organ transplants are more concerned with whether the donor was HIV-positive or HIV-negative, regardless of sexual orientation. But being HIV-positive doesn’t exclude someone from donating organs. People who are HIV-positive may donate and those organs would be used to save the life of someone else who is HIV-positive.

Miller said the need is great: “590 Texans died last year on the transplant waiting list.” There are three ways someone may leave their organs for transplant – by signing their driver’s license, by signing up on the Donate Life Texas’ website and by signing a legal document stating one’s wishes to donate. Miller said any of these is considered a legal document, and “Your family can’t overturn your decision.” So that there’s no confusion, Miller noted, a transgender person who has legally changed their gender designation or their name since signing organ donation documents should sign a new document so that current information matches current status. But she stressed that transgender people are welcome and encouraged to donate organs.

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