Organ Donation Incentives Approved by Oklahoma Lawmakers

Article excerpt

State lawmakers have voted to provide a $10,000 income tax deduction to individuals who donate an organ.

House Bill 2522, by State Rep. Randy Terrill, would provide the tax deduction to offset the qualified, nonreimbursed expenses incurred by a living organ donor.

The bill passed the Oklahoma House of Representatives on a 97-2 vote and now proceeds to the Oklahoma Senate.

Everything we do at the Legislature affects somebody in some way, but there are a few chances to do something that will actually save a life, said Terrill, R-Moore. This bill is one of those rare opportunities.

There are 570 Oklahomans who need an organ transplants with 324 of them waiting for a kidney. Those in need of a kidney could benefit greatly if living organ donations increase, according to Phil Van Stavern, director of marketing and communications for LifeShare of Oklahoma.

If it encourages more donations, this tax deduction is extremely important in terms of the lives that will be saved and years on dialysis that will be avoided, Van Stavern said. …