Senate Committee – AB 497

MINUTES OF THE

SENATE COMMITTEE ON HUMAN RESOURCES AND FACILITIES

 

Seventy-First Session

May 4, 2001

 

 

The Senate Committee on Human Resources and Facilitieswas called to order by Chairman Raymond D. Rawson, at 1:20 p.m., on Friday, May 4, 2001, in Room 2135 of the Legislative Building, Carson City, Nevada.  Exhibit A is the Agenda.  Exhibit B is the Attendance Roster.  All exhibits are available and on file at the Research Library of the Legislative Counsel Bureau.

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

Senator Raymond D. Rawson, Chairman

Senator Mark Amodei

Senator Bernice Mathews

Senator Michael Schneider

Senator Valerie Wiener

 

COMMITTEE MEMBERS ABSENT:

 

Senator Maurice Washington, Vice Chairman (Excused)

Senator Randolph J. Townsend (Excused)

 

GUEST LEGISLATORS PRESENT:

 

Assemblywoman Christina R. Giunchigliani, Clark County Assembly District                No. 9

Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, Washoe County Assembly District                          No. 25

 

STAFF MEMBERS PRESENT:

 

Susan E. Scholley, Committee Policy Analyst

H. Pepper Sturm, Committee Policy Analyst

Patricia Vardakis, Committee Secretary

 

OTHERS PRESENT:

 

Frankie Sue Del Papa, Attorney General

Debbie Pinjuv, Director, The Transplant Network

Jim Parsons, Administrator, Management Services and Programs Division,             Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety

 

 

Chairman Rawson suspended the hearing on A.J.R. 26 of the Seventieth Session and opened the hearing on Assembly Bill (A.B.) 497.

 

ASSEMBLY BILL 497:  Revises provisions relating to anatomical gifts.    (BDR 40-1210)

 

Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, Washoe County Assembly District No. 25, recalled Chairman Rawson’s words on the subject of anatomical gifts from last legislative session, “Take up the charge, we can as Nevadans, do better.”  She said A.B. 497 was drafted during the interim period.

 

Assemblywoman Gibbons explained A.B. 497.  She said the Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety (DMV/PS) would ask drivers registering or renewing their licenses whether they would voluntarily contribute $1 to the organ donor fund.  Assemblywoman Gibbons said the “Living Bank” in Huston, Texas has agreed to handle this fund, free of charge to any state, and the fund can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Senator Wiener called attention to page 3, line 12 of A.B. 497, and asked whether there is a mechanism in place that would recognize an existing donor for the transplant network.  Assemblywoman Gibbons answered in the affirmative and noted the pamphlet titled, “The Transplant Network” (Exhibit C) contained a form for that purpose.

 

Frankie Sue Del Papa, Attorney General, told the committee of an instance where 60 persons benefited from one donor.  She said the Bureau of Consumer Protection would administer the account and the organ donor programs; and the task force will formulate and implement an action plan.  Ms. Del Papa stated the DMV/PS would begin the education process and aid in the collection of the voluntary $1 donations.  She noted there is 1.4 million licensed drivers in Nevada and currently 290,000 have agreed to be organ donors.

 

Ms. Del Papa remarked families very often become aware of their loved one’s wishes to donate organs when they are approached in an emergency room situation.  She pointed out 1-in-7 of the 70,000 people on the national waiting list for organs received a “gift of life.”  Ms. Del Papa declared every day         12 people on the national waiting list die for lack of an organ.  She said Nevada must rely upon organ procurement organizations from other states because the  “Nevada Donor Network” in Las Vegas serves the two transplant hospitals who only do kidney transplants.  She explained Washoe County and the Carson City area hospitals contract with an organ procurement organization in California, and Elko contracts with an organization in Utah.

 

Ms. Del Papa stressed A.B. 497 would improve the State of Nevada participation numbers.  She emphasized most persons receiving the “gift of life” are living productive lives 5 years after receiving transplant surgery.  She declared A.B. 497 would encourage, educate, and facilitate an increased percentage of effective participation in the donor program, and urged the committee’s support.

 

Senator Wiener expressed concern because many state planners were not aware of the donor program and suggested continuing education units inform those persons who will then educate the public.  Ms. Del Papa stated the task force would establish a state leadership role, a community role, a legislative role, a media role, and involve the religious community and other entities that can help with the public education component.

 

Chairman Rawson commented hospital physicians are concerned with the liability involved with organ donation based on a driver’s license alone, so, the family is contacted also.  He questioned whether there could be a greater “force of law, or protection” associated with organ donation indicated on the driver’s license.  Ms. Del Papa assured the committee people from the medical professions would be included in the task force to address those issues.

 

Debbie Pinjuv, Director, The Transplant Network, told the committee of her personal experience as a recipient of a liver transplant and encouraged their support for A.B. 497.

 

Jim Parsons, Administrator, Management Services and Programs Division, Department of Motor Vehicles and Public Safety , stated the DMV/PS would help in the process of organ donations.  Chairman Rawson asked Mr. Parsons whether A.B. 497 contained all the authority necessary to implement the program.  Mr. Parsons responded A.B. 497 was complete.

 

SENATOR WIENER MOVED TO DO PASS A.B. 497.

 

SENATOR SCHNEIDER SECONDED THE MOTION.

 

THE MOTION CARRIED.  (SENATORS WASHINGTON, TOWNSEND, AND             AMODEI WERE ABSENT FOR THE VOTE.)

 

*****

 

Chairman Rawson closed the hearing on A.B. 497 and called for a vote on A.J.R. 26.

 

SENATOR WIENER MOVED TO DO PASS A.J.R. 26.

 

SENATOR MATHEWS SECONDED THE MOTION.

 

THE MOTION CARRIED.  (SENATORS WASHINGTON, TOWNSEND, AND             AMODEI WERE ABSENT FOR THE VOTE.)

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