PRESS RELEASE– Earlier today, the New York State Senate passed a bill by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) to make the provisions of “Lauren’s Law” permanent. Lauren’s Law was originally passed in 2012 and required applicants for driver’s licenses to complete the organ donor registry section instead leaving it blank. The bill’s chief advocate was Stony Point resident Lauren Shields, who at the time was 12 years old and received a life saving heart transplant.
“More than 10,000 New Yorkers are still waiting on transplant lists and we can do more to help them out,” Senator Carlucci stated. “By requiring that driver’s license applicants answer if they would be organ donors or not instead of skipping the section, the pool of donors will naturally expand over time and help save many more lives,” he continued.
According to the NYS Department of Health, just one organ donor can save up to eight lives and improve the lives of up to 50 people by donating tissues and corneas and last year alone there were 2,148 organ transplants performed in New York, making it the second greatest year on record.
“I am very happy that the Senate has passed a bill to make this law permanent and is taking a step towards helping thousands of people who are awaiting a potential donor match,” said Lauren Shields, the namesake of the bill. “My work is not done now. We have to continue to encourage people to register as organ donors and I look forward to working with Senator Carlucci to do that.”
“Lauren’s Law has helped to increase organ donor enrollment via the DMV, and as a result, will lead to more lives saved and improved in New York via organ, eye, and tissue donation. As such, LiveOnNY fully supports making Lauren’s Law permanent, and extending its lifesaving impact far into the future. We applaud Senator Carlucci for introducing this important bill, and for his tireless efforts on behalf organ, eye and tissue donation and transplantation. He is a true champion of the cause, and a lifesaver,” said Helen Irving, President & CEO of LiveOnNY.
“Lauren’s effort to make this change was inspirational and I am thankful to have been a part of it. Now we owe the thousands of other people in similar situations the chance to get the same help Lauren did by making her idea permanent,” Carlucci concluded.