The House Health and Human Services Committee approved a bill Feb. 19 that would lower the blood donation age to 15 if the person obtains written permission from the person’s parent or guardian.
On its way to the House floor, HF1066, sponsored by Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault), was the idea of high school student Joe Gibson, who came up with the proposal after seeing his grandfather’s energy increase following blood transfusions during cancer treatments. Gibson said he attempted to give blood at his local high school blood drive soon after, but was turned away because of age requirements. The current age requirement is 17 years old.
Several states already allow 16-year-olds to donate, including: California, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Oregon and Washington.
There was no opposition to the bill.
A Senate companion, SF2471, sponsored by Sen. Kathy Sheran (DFL-Mankato), awaits action by the full Senate.
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