Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange), heart transplant recipient Lauren Shields, members of the New York City Council and state Assembly, Save Lives Now New York Foundation, and other organ donation advocates from across the state recently gathered to raise awareness about New York State’s shortage of organ donations.
There are more than 10,000 New Yorkers waiting for an organ transplant and last year only 929 donations were made. Last year, 577 New Yorkers died while on the transplant waiting list. New Yorkers have to wait longer for a transplant than recipients in other states because of the low number of registered donors. Nationwide 42 percent of the population is registered as organ donors, compared to only 18 percent in New York State.
A law pending in the New York state legislature would make it easier for people to become organ donors.Known as Lauren’s Law it was named after Lauren Shields, the 12-year-old heart transplant recipient who has become a committed campaigner and staunch advocate to raise awareness about the need for organ and tissue donors. The law would require driver’s license and voter registration applicants to either elect or decline organ donor registration.