Lifeline of Ohio is proud to announce a new donation bill recently signed into law. The law will now require public high schools to include in their health curricula “the process of making an anatomical gift under Chapter 2108 of the Revised Code, with an emphasis on the life-saving and life-enhancing effects of organ and tissue donation.” This new requirement will be in effect for the 2017/18 school year.

This legislation was brought forth by Emmalyn Brown, a Donate Life Ambassador with Lifeline of Ohio, who received a liver transplant when she was nine. As part of her high school government class, she was challenged to make change within her community that could potentially be realized. Recognizing the lack of access to information and resources on organ, eye and tissue donation for young people, she proposed legislation to require the facts about donation to be included as part of the State of Ohio High School health curriculum.

Emma contacted her local state representative to suggest her idea be considered. The legislator saw the value in Emma’s idea and introduced it in 2015. The language was later incorporated into House Bill 438 and passed by the 131st Ohio General Assembly in December 2016. On January 4, 2017 Governor John Kasich signed the bill into law.

While [Lifeline of Ohio’s] community education efforts traditionally extend to approximately 80 percent of the high schools in our service area, we are pleased to be able to work collaboratively with our donation colleagues around the state, as well as the Ohio Department of Health and the Ohio Department of Education, to bring the message of donation to health classes in ALL Ohio high schools.