Physician Role in Promoting Organ and Tissue Donation and Transplantation: The Texas Medical Association supports efforts to increase organ and tissue donation and availability for subsequent transplantation while maintaining the respect and dignity of all Texans. Initiating discussion with patients as appropriate and urging them and their families to record their choice of organ and tissue donation through the Texas organ and tissue donation registry is the central component of an effective organ and tissue donation and transplantation process. TMA can further promote organ and tissue donation by:
1. Encouraging TMA members and county medical societies to engage in organ and tissue donation issues. Activities may include:
a. Providing resources and information to TMA members and county medical societies on local and regional opportunities to increase organ donation such as national initiatives like Workplace Partnership for Life, which educates members and staff on organ and tissue donation.
b. Encouraging county medical societies to engage regularly with their local medical examiner and/or justices of the peace and hospital-based organ procurement organization representatives to review the processes used for organ transplantation and assess the need for improvements to reduce barriers to donation and transplantation.
c. Encouraging members to be informed of their respective institutional donation policies and procedures.
2. Providing education on expanding donor opportunities, including information and continuing medical education on the process for notifying the local organ procurement organization, traditional neurological brain death criteria, donation after cardiac death, and extended criteria donors.
3. Supporting state and federal initiatives that could potentially improve rates of organ and tissue and subsequent transplantation. This includes working with the Texas Hospital Association, the Texas Association of Counties, and other stakeholders to inform and improve awareness and efforts to monitor and evaluate policy models such as mandated choice or presumed consent for organ and tissue donation.
4. Support state and federal legislative initiatives that remove financial barriers to living organ donation, such as providing access to health insurance coverage for any medical expenses related to the donation without regard to when they arise.
5. Support the American Society of Transplantation (AST) and American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS) as they investigate different models of providing or supplementing donor health insurance, which could include tax incentives, public/private partnerships with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and health insurance companies, and even philanthropic efforts. (Council on Scientific Affairs, p 133, A-93; reaffirmed Council on Scientific Affairs, p 130, A-94; reaffirmed CM-BTU Rep. 2-A-05; amended CM-BTU Rep. 2-07; amended by substitute CSPH/STT Report 2-A-16 and CSE Report 4-A-16).