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Jan 30, 2003

AMA Objects To New Mexico Bill Which Effectively Classifies Helmetless Street Riders As Organ Donors

From a press release issued by the AMA:<BR><BR>AMA OUTRAGED BY MANDATORY BIKER ORGAN-DONOR BILL<BR><BR>PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has expressed its outrage at a proposed law in New Mexico that could make some motorcyclists into forced organ donors.<BR><BR>The proposal, introduced in the New Mexico Legislature by state Sen. Allen Hurt (R-Waterflow), would allow the harvesting of organs from any motorcyclist who doesn't wear a helmet and is declared brain dead as a result of an accident. Hurt's bill, designated Senate Bill 239, specifically states that: "a person operating a motorcycle without a helmet and who, as the result of an accident, is pronounced brain dead pursuant to Section 12-2-4 NMSA 1978 by a licensed physician shall become an organ donor regardless of whether the person made an anatomical gift by completing the organ donor statement…"<BR><BR>If the bill becomes law, it would take effect on July 1.<BR><BR>The AMA, which represents more than 250,000 motorcyclists across the country, said that Hurt's proposal represents a new low in the relationship between anti-motorcycling government officials and riders.<BR><BR>"Organ donation is a noble cause that truly can represent the gift of life for people faced with some terminal illnesses," noted Sean Maher, AMA director of state affairs. "But making the commitment to become an organ donor must remain a private decision left to each person.<BR><BR>"Classifying an entire group of citizens as nothing more than organs to be harvested isn't just demeaning to motorcyclists, it's offensive to all Americans," he said.<BR><BR>The AMA is organizing opposition to the Hurt proposal. New Mexico motorcyclists can help by going to the StateWatch section of the AMA Rapid Response Center at www.AMADirectlink.com. There, they can send letters of protest to their state lawmakers.<BR><BR>The American Motorcyclist Association is a nonprofit organization with more than 250,000 members. Established in 1924, the Association's purpose is to pursue, protect and promote the interests of motorcyclists, while serving the needs of its members. For more information, visit the AMA website at www.AMADirectlink.com. <BR><BR> <BR>