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General Laws

Section 15. (a) There shall be an advisory council on organ and tissue transplants and donations which shall consist of the commissioner of public health; the registrar of motor vehicles; the director of organ transplants; the president of the Massachusetts Medical Society; and at least 6 persons to be appointed by the governor with experience in the field of organ and tissue transplants and donations, at least 1 of whom shall be a representative of a federally-designated organ procurement organization serving the commonwealth, at least 1 of whom shall be a physician experienced in organ and tissue transplantation, at least 1 of whom shall be a physician experienced in pediatric organ and tissue transplantation, at least 1 of whom may be a donated organ or tissue recipient, at least 1 of whom may be a pediatric donated organ or tissue recipient and at least 1 of whom may be an organ or tissue donor or a family member of an organ or tissue donor. Members shall be appointed for terms of 3 years and no member shall be appointed to serve for more than 2 consecutive terms. Upon the expiration of the term of an appointed member, a successor shall be appointed in like manner for a term of 3 years.

(b) The governor shall annually designate the chairperson of the council from among its members. The council shall meet at least 2 times annually, and shall convene special meetings at the call of the chairperson, a majority of the members of the council, the commissioner of public health or the director of organ transplants. The director of organ transplants shall serve as the executive secretary of the council and shall attend all meetings. The council shall make an annual report to the governor, which shall include an account of all actions taken to further adult and pediatric organ and tissue donor registration, and shall file a copy of the report with the state secretary and the clerks of the senate and house of representatives. Members of the council shall serve without compensation.

(c) The advisory council shall:

(1) assist the commissioner of public health and the director of organ transplants in coordinating the efforts of all public and private agencies within the commonwealth concerned with the donation and transplantation of human organs and tissue;

(2) advise the commissioner of public health and the director of organ transplants on policy and priority of needs for a comprehensive program relative to organ and tissue donations and transplants;

(3) assist the director of organ transplants in developing strategies to increase adult and pediatric organ and tissue donor registration and awareness with a special focus upon the need for increased pediatric organ and tissue donation; provided, however, that funding to support any such strategies shall be made available from the Organ and Tissue Donor Registration Fund established in section 35E1/2 of chapter 10;

(4) assist the director of organ transplants in establishing a website that provides general information relative to adult and pediatric organ and tissue donor registration and awareness, which shall include, but not be limited to, information that the council and director consider beneficial in increasing public knowledge about the need for organ and tissue donation, particularly pediatric organ and tissue donation, and a means by which the public may donate to the Organ and Tissue Donor Registration Fund;

(5) facilitate and assist in the establishment of a program by which employers can match the donations of their employees to the Organ and Tissue Donor Registration Fund;

(6) establish goals for increasing both adult and pediatric organ and tissue donation rates, which shall include a baseline account of current organ and tissue donation rates and periodic benchmarks for success; and

(7) assist the director of organ transplants in establishing regulations which shall set forth standards and guidelines by which the director shall select individuals to receive funds from the Organ Transplant Fund established in section 35E of said chapter 10 and determine the amount each such individual shall receive.

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