THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
NATIONAL ORGAN AND TISSUE DONOR AWARENESS WEEK, 1996
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Thousands of lives have been saved by the miracle of organ and tissue transplantation, a medical procedure made possible only by the extraordinary generosity of those who agree to donate and the profound compassion of their loved ones. Recipients are often able to resume normal lives after their transplants, working and caring for their families, and many children are in school today due to a donated liver or bone marrow. Still, the need for organs far exceeds the number donated, and many Americans wait -- and some will die waiting -- for suitable organs or tissues to become available.
Although our Nation has a potentially adequate supply of organs and tissues, there are more than 45,000 patients on the national transplant waiting list, and some 2,000 new names are added each month. We must educate all Americans about transplantation and its successes and raise public awareness of the urgent need for increased donation. All of our citizens should know that by completing a donor card and carrying it, and particularly by making family members aware of the wish to donate, they may save the health, or even the life, of someone in need.
Americans are a caring people, and our Nation's citizens have always reached out to one another in times of trouble. Organ donation is a unique example of that spirit of giving, and many who have lost loved ones have found comfort in knowing that their loss means the promise of life for others. This week and throughout the year, let us recognize the advances made in organ and tissue transplant techniques, honor those who have already pledged their organs, and encourage people to make the life-giving decision to donate.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, WILLIAM J. CLINTON, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 21 through April 27, 1996, as National Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Week. I call upon health care professionals, educators, the media, public and private organizations concerned with organ donation and transplantation, and all the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate activities and programs that promote organ donation and invite new donors to get involved.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of April, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and ninety-six, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twentieth.
WILLIAM J. CLINTON
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