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Senator: Russian IDs Should Feature Organ-Donation Preferences

Every Russian citizen's preference on whether to posthumously donate his or her organs should be reflected in official identification documents, a Russian senator proposed on Monday.

Federation Council member Anton Belyakov submitted a draft bill to the State Duma that he hopes will streamline the organ-donation process, which is presently mired in bureaucracy, state news agency TASS reported.

Russian doctors continue to seek permission for organ donations from family members of the deceased, despite a legislative clause on presumed consent, according to the lawmaker.

"This law will give the green light to transplantations in Russia," Belyakov said, adding that Russia could benefit from the European and American model of using consent notices on official documents, TASS reported.

The government should determine which identification documents would bear organ-transplant consent notices, the bill stipulates, but the list could include passports, driver's licenses or military identification cards.

The draft law also calls for the creation of a nationwide electronic database for potential organ donors.

The mortality rate for Russians waiting for organ transplants is presently 60 percent, despite the number of transplant operations having doubled in the past seven years.

Last year 1,400 transplantations were performed in the country. This figure accounts for less than 16 percent of the number of patients requiring organ transplantations, according to data published by the Health Ministry.

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