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Calif. Requires Non-Helmeted Riders To Become Organ Donors

Calif. Requires Non-Helmeted Riders To Become Organ Donors

Release Date: 6/4/2004

Sacramento, CA.; (MCNW) The American Motorcyclist Association has expressed its outrage over a proposed law in California that could force some motorcyclists to be organ donors against their wishes.

The proposal is an amendment to Assembly Bill 1200. The original proposal would allow adults 18 and older to decide whether to wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle. The amended version states that those who chose not to wear a helmet "is deemed to have consented to the making of an anatomical gift under this act."

AMA Western States Representative Nick Haris said that while the AMA supported the bill in its original form, it can't support the measure with the new amendment.

"Riders who wish to donate their organs should be under no undue pressure to do so," Haris said. "This provision makes a mockery of the spirit and kindness of voluntary organ donation."

Assemblyman John Longville (D-San Bernardino), amended the bill to require motorcyclists who wish to ride without a helmet to be organ donors. To express your opposition to the amendment, go to the California section of StateWatch at the Rapid Response Center at www.AMADirectlink.com to send an e-mail. Or you can send a letter to: Assemblyman John Longville, State Capitol, P.O. Box 942849, Sacramento, CA 94249-0062.

A New Mexico lawmaker introduced similar legislation last year and quickly withdrew the proposal after the AMA mustered opposition to the bill from motorcyclists around the nation.

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