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Client Counseling Can Impact Organ Donation Dear Editor: As an attorney who represents the interests of organ procurement organizations and others involved in the process of organ and tissue transplantation and donation, I was heartened to see the subject of organ donation addressed so prominently in the Health Care Law supplement of the Law Journal‘s Dec. 16, 2002 issue [ 170 N.J.L.J. 910]. John Zen Jackson’s presentation of the ethical issues surrounding financial incentives for donation was thorough and interesting. On a more practical level, however, I’d like to add that although attorneys have a crucial role in forming donation policy, they can have a much more immediate impact upon donation by the simple act of client counseling. Attorneys are in the unique position of talking to their clients about end-of-life decisions, long before the fact. The decision to be an organ donor may be documented in a will or advance directive, and this wish should ideally be registered in New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania by means of the organ donor registry. All clients should be offered an option to donate, regardless of age or physical condition. The procedure for documenting the wish to be an organ and tissue donor is simple, and without cost. Moreover, a documented wish can save family members the pain of “second guessing” their deceased loved one’s wishes at the time of death. Thus, attorneys can provide “value added” services to their clients while potentially saving the lives of patients waiting on the list. Attorneys may also work to further donation by participating in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Workplace Partnership for Life initiative. By making donor materials available to your staff and clients, you may save the life of the more than 80,000 Americans currently awaiting transplant. Materials on the legal aspects of organ donation, and the Workplace Partnership are available in New Jersey from the New Jersey Organ and Tissue Sharing Network, (973) 379-4535, and www.sharenj.organd in New York from the New York Organ Donor Network, (212) 870-2240, and www.nyodn.org. Again, I thank the Law Journalfor its presentation of an important issue in health care. Christina Woodward Strong Trenton Attorney General’s Letter of Resignation This is the text of Attorney General David Samson’s Jan. 21 letter of resignation to Gov. James McGreevey, with minor punctuation changes. Dear Governor: This letter will confirm my resignation as Attorney General to be effective February 14, 2003. I want to thank you for affording me the challenging and rewarding opportunity to have served the people of New Jersey. Last January I made a commitment to you to serve for one year as we engaged the critical issues of the 21st century. You laid out an aggressive agenda and set goals for us to reach. The record is clear that our accomplishments have been significant and demonstrative. New Jersey now leads the nation in its domestic security preparedness. While more work remains, the Office of Counter-Terrorism and the Domestic Security Preparedness Task Force, in collaboration with the federal Department of Homeland Security, are competently focused on protecting our citizens and our infrastructure. Our unqualified commitment to root out public corruption is demonstrated by the renewed energy of our Division of Criminal Justice and Office of Government Integrity. In this effort, we have forged an unprecedented partnership with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney in New Jersey to work together as a cooperative and effective team. Our Division of Consumer Affairs and the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor have initiated record numbers of prosecutions to remediate fraud, and we have broken new ground on behalf of State pension funds to protect the investments of New Jersey employees. The Division of State Police is making substantial progress to confirm its place as the pre-eminent state law enforcement agency in the country. All in all, the Department of Law and Public Safety is today a far more effective and professional organization than we found it. With the completion of my commitment of service, I will be returning to the private practice of law. You know you will have my friendship and continuing support in the challenges that lie ahead. David Samson Attorney General

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