Illinois has a “first-person consent” law regarding organ/tissue donation. Here’s what that means:
First-person consent makes your decision to be an organ/tissue donor legally binding. Additional witnesses or family consent is no longer required to carry out your wishes in the event of your death. In the event a person has not had the opportunity to join the first-person consent registry, or is under the age of 18, next-of kin will still be approached for consent.
This policy seems to be working. Donors have increased by 20% since the law went into effect in 2006.
Hopefully, other states will take notice.
While you’re at it, Illinois people, go fill out the paperwork to donate your bodies to science (you can and should do both). It’s not as easy as signing up to be an organ donor, but it’s a wonderful way to put your body to use after you die.