Illinois’ secretary of state doesn’t want to see religion interfere with organ donation. Secretary of State Jesse White says there are a variety of reasons why people won’t sign up to be organ donors: They’re afraid that doctors won’t try to save their lives, or that their organs will be sold, or that they won’t look good at their funeral. Those are all false, says White, as is a religious objection.
“When it comes to religion, someone will say my religion will not allow me an opportunity to participate in this program. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, all religious groups support the organ and tissue donor program,” he said at a news conference today (Friday) in Chicago with clergy and the wives of church pastors, who are on a radio spot urging people to sign up as organ donors.
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White will be speaking in churches this weekend, known as the National Donor Sabbath, to persuade people to overcome these objections and become organ donors.
Illinois has 5.6 million people signed up to be organ donors, but about 300 Illinoisans die each year awaiting transplants, a number which would be reduced with more donors.
The secretary of state is involved because his office maintains the registry, and people sign up on their driver’s license or state ID.