Schwarzenegger was in Palo Alto Friday to introduce a bill that would make it easier for potential donors to share their wishes. The bill, authored by Sen. Elaine Alquist (D-Santa Clara), would also create Living Donor Registry for kidney transplants -- the first such registry of its kind in the nation.
"Organ donation is one of the kindest, most generous and powerful actions that each and every one of us can take. With thousands of people in California and throughout the nation currently waiting for a transplant, this legislation represents a new and important resource to increase donor rates," Schwarzenegger said via a news release. "I am excited to partner with the legislature to implement this life-saving legislation and make California a leader in organ donations."
Apple Co-founder Steve Jobs, who received a donated liver in April 2009, joined Schwarzenegger and Alquist at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital to introduce the legislation.
The governor said the Apple CEO told his wife about his transplant and she talked him into making his push on Friday.
Jobs spoke briefly to the audience telling them he was lucky to get a liver transplant.
"There were not enough livers in California to go around," he said, according to the San Jose Mercury News. I was advised by my Stanford doctors to enroll on a list at a Memphis hospital, because it was more favorable to get a liver there. I was fortunate."
The Living Donor Registry will give potential kidney donors three ways to donate:
- Direct donation: Living donor would provide an organ for a known transplant candidate, such as a mother donating a kidney to her daughter.
- Paired exchanges: Registry would assist a donor and a transplant candidate who are medically incompatible with another pair facing the same problem. For example, if a mother wants to donate a kidney to her daughter but is medically incompatible, the registry will help find another pair facing the same problem. In this case, the donor in the first pair would donate to the transplant candidate in the second pair and vice versa.
- Non-directed donation: Donor does not have a specific recipient indentified and donates to any recipient that is a good medical match. This practice has been growing in recent years, and this legislation will help accelerate it to potentially save countless lives.