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Proclamation 6281—National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, 1991 and 1992

April 25, 1991

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

Through organ and tissue transplantation, thousands of Americans have been given a chance to enjoy fuller, longer lives. For example, bone marrow transplants have brought hope and healing to victims of cancer; new corneas have helped to bring sight to the blind; and the gift of a new heart, lung, or kidney has enabled many gravely ill Americans to gain improved health.

Much has been done in recent years to encourage public support of organ and tissue donation. Millions of Americans have learned about transplants through regional and local donor programs, voluntary health agencies, and the media. Government grants and our national transplantation system have also helped to encourage organ and tissue donation. Many Americans have responded to public awareness campaigns by signing a donor card or by indicating on their driver's licenses their willingness to donate.

However, despite our best efforts and the development of worldwide transplant programs, the waiting list of those in need of donated organs or tissues continues to grow. The Department of Health and Human Services reports that a new name is added to our national waiting list every 30 minutes. As many as 25 percent of the patients waiting for specific organs will die before a well-matched donor is found.

As compelling as these facts are, it is both fitting and proper that we pause to reflect carefully on organ and tissue transplantation. Every donation is a profound act of personal sacrifice and generosity. Every transplant underscores the power of medicine and the precious nature of human life. Because God has granted every person equal dignity and worth, because human life must always be treated with reverence and care, all Americans should give careful thought to becoming organ and tissue donors. This includes learning the facts about transplantation and discussing any moral and ethical concerns with one's family and doctor.

When pursued in a thoughtful and reverent manner, organ and tissue transplantation is a medical procedure that reflects not only the highly sophisticated nature of our Nation's health care system but also the traditional generosity and compassion of the American people.

To promote public awareness of organ and tissue donation, the Congress, by House Joint Resolution 218, has designated the weeks beginning April 21, 1991, and April 19, 1992, as "National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week."

Now, Therefore, I, George Bush, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the weeks of April 21 through April 27, 1991, and April 19 through April 25, 1992, as National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week. I ask health care professionals, public and private service organizations, and all Americans to join in supporting this humanitarian cause.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-fifth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fifteenth.

Signature of George Bush


George Bush, Proclamation 6281—National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week, 1991 and 1992 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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