Organ donation policies in Idaho

POSTED: 08:03 PM MDT Jun 18, 2013 

A 10-year old girl in Pennsylvania is recovering from a lung transplant, and her story parked national debate over organ donation practices.

The required age for the adult waiting list is 12, but Sarah Murnaghan is only 10 years old. A federal judge stepped in and had her added to the list. The National Transplant Network met to revisit its policies, but declined to change the rule. Instead it's decided to create an appeals process for children under 12.

The waiting list for an organ is nationally regulated; however, organ procurement organizations coordinate the recovery of organs.

Intermountain Donor Services is the organization for Utah and 28 counties throughout Southeastern Idaho, Western Wyoming and Nevada. Almost 400 people in its area are waiting for organs and 25 are under 17 years old.

Boone Braithwaite is a registered nurse at the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center, but he is also a part-time employee for Intermountain Donor Services. He said the process starts in the intensive care unit.

"We determine the suitability," said Braithwaite. "Should we call donor services and get them involved if it looks like they might not survive."

He says if you are a donor you need to make it clear to family, or your wishes might not be fulfilled.

It's really important to have those difficult conversations early before you're in that scenario," said Braithwaite."

If you want to register for organ donation, you can visit