To: Senate Finance and Taxation Committee
From: Kathryn Grafsgaard, Health Care Advocate
Subject: House Bill 1474, Income Tax Deduction for Organ Donation
Date: March 2, 2005

Chairman Urlacher and members of the committee. I am Kathryn Grafsgaard, Health Care Advocate for the North Dakota Catholic Conference. I am here today to offer support for House Bill 1474.

The bill recognizes the broad social justice implications of organ donation, and recognizes the value of donation by a living person. Organ donation is, as Pope John Paul II states, a “concrete gesture of solidarity and self-giving love”. Outside of emergency medicine, few medical interventions so dramatically save the lives of imminently dying patients.

Certainly, a living donor undergoes a tremendous amount of personal physical and emotional hardship while undergoing a procedure of this extensive nature. This can, in reality, potentially include a significant financial burden to the donor or an individual who claims the donor as a dependent.

House Bill 1474 recognizes the financial burden, and offers an amount of relief to an individual taxpayer.

We urge the committee to give a Do Pass recommendation to House Bill 1474.