PRESS RELEASE FROM SEN. DAVID CARLUCCI
New City, NYSenator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) announced last week that Governor Cuomo signed his bill to extend Lauren’s Law for another four years. Lauren’s Law, which was originally passed in 2012, has significantly increased the number of eligible organ donors in New York State and saved countless lives. The number of donors in New York are the highest they have ever been in state history. In addition, this year, the Senate passed legislation to make Lauren’s Law permanent. With the numbers continuing to soar, it would only make sense that this law becomes permanent.
According to the American Transplant Foundation, in our nation, every 10 minutes another name is added to the national transplant waiting list. One deceased organ donor can save up to eight lives through organ donation and can enhance more than 100 by donating different types of tissue.
In New York we currently have the third longest list of patients waiting to receive an organ donation. As a result, every 15 hours one New Yorker dies waiting for an organ transplant. That is more than 600 people in our great state that passes away simply waiting. Our state has underperformed considerably compared to other states donor numbers. According to the New York Alliance for Donation, while the national average of designated donors is approximately 52 percent, only 25 percent of New Yorkers have joined the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry, placing it in 51st place out of the 52 registries in the United States.
The most popular way New Yorkers join the donor registry is through the Department of Motor Vehicles. Unfortunately in the past, approximately only 10 percent of individuals completing a donation- relevant transaction, actually completed the donor designation section. When Lauren’s Law originally came into effect, it mandated for the question asking if one would like to be an organ donor be answered on the DMV form, by selecting either “yes” or “skip this question.”
Since Lauren’s Law has been signed into law, our donor designation rate increased to 17 percent, the highest rates ever seen in our state. Additionally, because of the increase in donor designation rate, in a three month period earlier this year, an additional 50,000 individuals said “yes” to joining the donor registry through the DMV. New York needs to take the next step forward and make this law permanent.
“I can’t imagine how many more lives will be saved having Lauren’s Law enacted for another four years, however we need to make sure that Lauren’s Law becomes permanent. New York continues to make strides and I will continue to be an advocate on this important issue. Be an organ donor, and save a life,” Senator Carlucci said.