January 30, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Bill Kresnak
Phone: (614) 856-1900
PICKERINGTON, OHIO -- The AMA has expressed its outrage at a proposed law in New Mexico that could make some motorcyclists into forced organ donors.
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…"
If the bill becomes law, it would take effect on July 1.
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.
"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.
"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.
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. There, they can send letters of protest to their state lawmakers.
Issued January 30, 2003
About the American Motorcyclist Association
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. As the world`s largest motorcycling organization, the AMA advocates for motorcyclists` interests in the halls of local, state and federal government, the committees of international governing organizations, and the court of public opinion. Through member clubs, promoters and partners, the AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. AMA members receive money-saving discounts from dozens of well-known suppliers of motorcycle services, gear and apparel, bike rental, transport, hotel stays and more. Through its Motorcycle Hall of Fame Museum, the AMA preserves the heritage of motorcycling for future generations.