New legislation would allow teens to become organ donors

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CHICAGO -- Illinois is one of only a handful of states yet to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to register for organ donation, but that is about to change.

Those who coordinate life-saving organ and tissue donation are applauding a move by Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White and a coalition of state legislators, all pushing to save lives and deal with the shortage of available organs and tissue for transplant.

New legislation could soon open up donor registration to 16- and 17-year-olds.

Parents or adult guardians in Illinois would still have the opportunity to overturn their teen's decision.

The new legislation could be on Governor Bruce Rauner's desk by spring.

48 states across the country already have similar legislation signed into law.

Statistics show that on an average day 18 Americans die as a result of the acute shortage of available organs and tissue. Thousands are on the waiting list in Illinois.