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Proclamation 5456—National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, 1986

April 07, 1986

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Today, many Americans are working, attending school, caring for families, or resuming normal life in their communities after receiving a transplanted organ or other tissue. But many others still wait for such transplants in order to improve or even save their lives.

The need for donors far surpasses the supply. Current medical technology enables the transplantation of organs and tissues including kidney, heart, heart-lung, lung, liver, pancreas, skin, cornea, bone, and bone marrow. But the greatest obstacle to making these life-sustaining and life-saving transplants possible is the shortage of donors.

All Americans must know what they can do to consent to become organ and tissue donors. By completing a uniform donor card and carrying it at all times, anyone can give the gift of life to people in desperate need of organs and tissues for transplantation. It is especially important for would-be donors to make their intentions known to family members, so that appropriate action can be taken promptly when the time comes.

Americans are a caring and giving people, so it is fitting that we as a Nation should encourage organ and tissue donation and increase public awareness of the possibilities and the need. I ask every American to consider organ and tissue donation, and I ask the media to assist in informing the public of the great need that exists. Together, we can make organ and tissue donation another expression of American generosity.

The Congress, by Public Law 99-203, has designated the week beginning April 20 through April 26, 1986, as "National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week" and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this occasion.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim April 20 through April 26, 1986, as National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week. I urge all health care professionals, educators, the media, public and private organizations, and all Americans to join me in promoting greater and more widespread awareness and acceptance of this humanitarian practice.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and tenth.


[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 4:29 p.m., April 8, 1986]

Note: The proclamation was released by the Office of the Press Secretary on April 8.

Ronald Reagan, Proclamation 5456—National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, 1986 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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