The state has gone to court to keep the federal government from forcing it to participate in a national organ transplant program.

A new rule by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services requires states to join a pool under which organs would be donated to whomever is first on the list regardless of where they live.The rule takes effect Oct. 1.

But the Legislature passed a law last year that said if an organ is donated in Louisiana, state residents get first right of refusal. Doctors here say the federal rule would allow organs donated in Louisiana to be transferred anywhere in the country.