Kansas bill may let donors choose to keep organs in state

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) -

Lawmakers will consider a bill that could allow Kansas organ donors to specify whether they want their organs to go to transplant patients in the state.

KCUR-FM reports the proposed legislation comes as the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is poised to nationalize the system used to distribute livers for transplant. The federal health agency wants to scrap the system that distributes organs within regions after being sued by six transplant patients in California, New York and Massachusetts.

The geography-based system benefited states such as Kansas, where donor rates are around 80 percent. But New York and California are states where the need for donated organs is high, but donor rates are low.

U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran of Kansas and Roy Blunt of Missouri say the new policy would disproportionately affect patients in rural areas.

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