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Action Alerts

ONGOING ACTION ALERT

Write, call, fax, or e-mail the Secretary of Health and Human Services to demand a ban on xenotransplants. Sample letter below:

Date

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20201
Telephone: 202-619-0257
Toll Free: 1-877-696-6775

Dear Secretary,

I am writing in support of the Campaign for Responsible Transplantation's (CRT's) legal petition to ban xenotransplantation, filed on December 10, 1998, (Docket No. 98P-1147/CP1). I share this international coalition's concern that xenotransplantation could spread deadly animal viruses to humans. By issuing voluntary guidelines for xenotransplantation, and approving clinical trials using animal cells, tissues and organs, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has chosen to disregard the scientific evidence showing that xenotransplantation is dangerous. HHS has failed to adequately consider the legal, social, ethical, and economic implications of xenotransplantation. HHS has not adequately considered how to protect the public from novel AIDS-like viruses that could be transmitted via xenotransplantation; how to compensate victims of such infections; or how to obtain informed consent from the public at large. There are safer and more cost-effective alternatives to xenotransplantation that must be explored by your agency. These include passing a national “presumed consent” law, (such laws have drastically increased organ donation rates in other countries); and launching aggressive lifestyle education campaigns to prevent organ disease in the first place. I join CRT in demanding that HHS ban xenotransplantation immediately.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
City, State, Zip



ONGOING ACTION ALERT

Write your representatives in Congress asking them to introduce “presumed consent” legislation. Call (800) 688-9889 in the U.S. or go to www.vote-smart.org to find out who your legislators are.

Sample letter below:

Date

The Honorable Representative X
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Representative X,

I am writing to request that you introduce “presumed consent” legislation without delay.

Public health officials tell us that there is an organ shortage in this country. This shortage claims 4,000 lives each year in the U.S.. Polls have shown that, while 85% of Americans support organ donation, only 20% have arranged to donate their organs after death. The truth is that we routinely burn or bury enough organs each year to meet our needs. Reports (General Accounting Office, April, 1998; Institute of Medicine, July 1999) confirm that our government is not doing enough to retrieve those organs. Other nations have increased their organ donation rates after passing “presumed consent” laws, which assume that a person will donate his/her organs after death unless s/he specifies otherwise. Since a majority of Americans support organ donation, a “presumed consent” law should be introduced and passed without delay, because it would surely solve the organ shortage.

Please let me know when you intend to act on this important issue. I look forward to a reply.

Sincerely,

Name
Address
City, State, Zip



ONGOING ACTION ALERT

Write a letter to Vice President Joe Biden and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) and ask them for no patenting on life, including plants, animals, and human genes./p>

Write to:

Vice President Joe Biden
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Tel. (202) 456-1111
E-mail: vice_president@whitehouse.gov

US Patents and Trademarks Office
Commissioner of Patents, John Doll
PO Box 1450
Alexandria, VA 22313
Tel. (571) 272-8800