In new business, the Everett Common Council unanimously approved to adopt an Act relative to Living Organ Donation/Live Organ Leave, a law that allows city employees to take 30 days paid leave for live organ donation.
In 2005, Governor Deval Patrick implemented the Live Organ Leave law to increase the amount of paid leave for organ donors from five days to 30 days. The increased amount of days was changed in order to accommodate the recovery period following the surgery.
Live organ donation includes donation of kidney, liver, pancreas, lung, intestine or heart. It does not apply to bone marrow donations, which remain at five paid days of leave, based on the current appropriation act. All employees must give a minimum of seven days notice and follow existing medical leave policies.
After its inception, various communities in Boston and the Greater Boston area began adopting the law.
It serves as a way to remove any hindrances a possible donor might face, such as financial barriers, or problems with taking time off work.
Patrick’s goal was to guarantee that employees would have their benefits protected in hopes of sparking open-mindedness to the idea of helping others in this very personal and deep way.
The Live Organ Leave law, if promoted enough, will help support those in need of donations, and help make those donations possible.
According to the New England Organ Bank, more than 100,000 people in the United States are in need of lifesaving organs. As stated on the New England Organ Bank’s website: “On average, 17 people in this country die every day, 6,600 each year, waiting for organ transplant. The reason is simple – a tragic shortage of donated organs and tissues.”
And now the city of Everett is doing its part to give a gift greater than all others, the gift of life.