- Apr 12, 2001
The San Jose Mercury News last Friday reported that Apple CEO Steve Jobs made a rare public appearance alongside California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to promote a new bill in that state to encourage drivers to sign up as organ donors, drawing on his own experience with a liver transplant he received last year in Memphis, Tennessee as motivation for his support.
Jobs noted that he had been fortunate enough to access to a private plane and the resources to be ferried to Memphis within the brief window of time available once a matching donor liver became available, and that California residents of all income levels should have greater access to donor organs in their own state."I was almost one of the ones that died waiting for a liver in California last year," said Jobs, whippet-thin but healthy. He appeared at a brief event with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to unveil a new legislative effort to greatly expand the number of California organ donors.
In his first public description of his much-rumored but long-secret crisis, Jobs said "there were simply not enough livers in California to go around, and my doctors here advised me to enroll in a transplant program in Memphis, where the supply-demand ratio of livers is more favorable than it is in California."
As a result of his experience, Jobs worked with California first lady Maria Shriver to spur Schwarzenegger's office to draft legislation that would require driver's license applicants in California to provide either a "yes" or "no" answer to a question regarding their placement on the state's organ donor registry before being issued a license. While applicants are currently offered the ability to add themselves to the registry through the Department of Motor Vehicles, a response is not required, and it appears that many applicants simply skip the question.
The bill also provides for the creation of a "California Living Donor Registry," which aims to connect those in need of a kidney transplant with compatible strangers who have signaled their willingness to donate one of their own kidneys.
A video of the event is available, with Jobs' comments beginning at the 13-minute mark.
Article Link: Steve Jobs Backs Organ Donor Registry Bill in California