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Senator Carlucci Announces Passage of Lauren’s Law

Passed in Senate and Assembly, Bill Now Moves to Governor’s Desk 

Lauren Shields to Join Senator Carlucci, State Advocates at Friday Press Conference in Rockland

ALBANY, NYSenator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange) today announced that the New York State Senate has joined with its Assembly counterparts in passing Lauren’s Law through the state legislature.  In overwhelming fashion, the Senate bill passed unanimously. 

The bill (S.7103A) now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

 “Lauren’s Law will save lives and increase the state’s enrollment for organ donation,” said Senator Carlucci. “By making this simple change to our laws, we can implement what has successfully been accomplished in other states.  With over 10,000 people right now in waiting for a life-saving organ transplant, this legislation now makes it easier for donors to sign up and give the gift of life.”  

“We commend the tremendous efforts of the New York State Legislature to pass this life-saving legislation,” said Helen Irving, President and CEO of the New York Organ Donor Network. “We are thrilled that New York is making great strides towards increasing the number of New Yorkers enrolled to be organ donors and increasing the number of lives that are saved with organ transplants across the state each year.”

 “We want to especially thank Senator David Carlucci and Assemblyman Felix Ortiz for sponsoring this bill,” said Ted Lawson, President and Executive Director of Save Lives Now New York Foundation.

 In celebration of passage of this critical legislation that will increase organ donation in New York State, Senator Carlucci will host a press conference with Lauren Shields and statewide organ donation advocacy groups at his district office on Friday, June 22, located at 95 South Middletown Road, Nanuet, beginning at 12:00 PM.


Gov. Signs Bill for Online Organ-Donor Registration

July 9th, 2010

Enrolling in New York’s organ donor registry will now be much easier under a bill signed into law by Governor David Paterson, his office announced today. The Electronic Signature Act, written by Assembly Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried and Senate Health Committee chair Thomas K. Duane, would allow potential organ donors to register online, instead of downloading a form and mailing it in.

Previously, the New York State Donate Life Registry did not allow people to register online. To register, a person had to download a form from the Department of Health website, print it, fill it out, and then mail it in.

“New York ranks 47 out of 50 states for its rate of organ, tissue and eye donations. About 108,000 people, including 9,600 New Yorkers, are on the national waiting list for organ transplants” said Ellen Hollander, Executive Director of the New York Alliance for Donation.

“I have heard from many New Yorkers on this issue, including from some whose loved ones have died or may die because the supply of organs is outpaced by the demand. The bill I have signed into law will allow online enrollment with the Donate Life Registry, making it much easier to register as a donor and thereby increasing the number of people who do so,” the governor said in a statement.

Assembly Health Committee Chairman Richard Gottfried, D-Manhattan, said mailing in a form isn’t that difficult, but the process for signing up to donate organs and tissues should be as easy as possible. “A lot of people go online to register, print out the form, and never get around to mailing it in. Increasing anatomical gifts is a vital life-saving public health goal for the State of New York,” said Gottfried, who sponsored the Electronic Signature Act in the Assembly.

Senate Health Committee Chairman Thomas Duane, D-Manhattan, sponsored it in his house.

The bill passed the Assembly unanimously on April 27 and the Senate on May 12. Organizations in support of the new law include the New York Alliance for Donation, the National Kidney Foundation, the New York Center for Liver Transplantation, the Association of Organ Procurement Organizations, and Donate Life America.


2006 Legislation

The following provides a brief description of the bills included in the legislative package on organ and tissue donation that were signed into law by the Governor on August 17, 2006:

Providing Avenues for More Donation Opportunities and Raising Awareness

Chapter 638 (A.11842) – This law requires that the Transplant Council study the current standard of intent in organ donations and to study whether we should move toward a system of presumed consent; i.e. assume people want to donate unless they specify otherwise. Presumed consent is the standard in many European countries and has greatly increased the number of donors. This law is first in the nation. Asking the Transplant Council to consider this approach is forward thinking and will utilize the existing experts in New York to make recommendations.

Chapter 640 (A.11887) – Renames the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to the “Donate Life Registry.” This law will enhance the Registry by incorporating the national efforts of Coalition on Donation to utilize the “Donate Life” logo. This change enhances the actions already taken by the Department of Health.

Chapter 568 (A.3995) – Provides that drivers’ licenses and renewals issued to a person making an anatomical gift shall have prominently printed upon the front a designation of the statement. This is a simple and powerful change. While the New York license is considered by law a document of gift, the current license is impossible to sign, and therefore this improvement is important for people to confirm their decision to be a donor.

Chapter 598 (A.9902) – Establishes an anatomical gift information program to promote public awareness of organ and tissue donation within the Department of Health. This law codifies the good work already initiated by the Department of Health staff by making donation an ongoing part of any education efforts.

Chapter 639 (A.11883) – Allows those registered under the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry to authorize and execute an anatomical gift; requires consent to be made upon registration to make an anatomical gift. This law will improve our current registry by making it one that documents an individual’s legal decisions to be a donor. Thirty-one states have registries of consent. It is a national priority with Health and Human Services just releasing grant funding to assist states without registries to initiate them in the next year. States with highly functioning registries consistently have higher consent rates then New York. This mechanism will assist in the donation process in New York and ensure that legal documents of gift are acted upon.

Tax Incentives for Organ Donors and Their Families

Chapter 565 (A.3072) – Provides donors and their families an income tax credit for up to $10,000. This law recognizes that the act of donation by living donors includes out-of-pocket expenses and lost wages that are not covered by insurance. This is limited to New York residents and is acceptable under Federal law governing donation. Much like charitable activities are considered for the purposes of tax reduction so should this ultimate act of giving?

Additional Funding for Organ Donation Programs

Chapter 570 (A.4294) – Requires that the drivers’ license application provide for an opportunity to make a voluntary contribution to the Life Pass It On Trust Fund to support organ and tissue donation education and awareness. The state of Pennsylvania generates approximately $800,000 per year with this type of mechanism. Pennsylvania has consistently more deceased donors than New York with seven million fewer people; this is related to supporting donation education and awareness throughout the state with a designated source of funding. New York will make a difference by allowing funding for a sustained and consistent effort across the State.

New York legislative leaders and the Governor had previously demonstrated their support through: creating the Gift of Life Donor Medal of Honor program; creating the New York State Organ and Tissue Donor Registry of Intent administratively and then signing legislation in 2004 to make it part of the Public Health Law; creating the Life Pass It On license plate and establishing the Life Pass It On Trust Fund; and consistently proclaiming Thanksgiving as “Give Thanks, Give Life Day” and April as “Organ and Tissue Donor Awareness Month.” [Click here to view the Alliance for Donation August 17, 2006 press release]

Governor Signs Series of Bills Encouraging Organ Donation

Countless Additional New Yorkers to Receive the “Gift of Life”

August 18, 2006 — Governor George E. Pataki today announced he has signed into law a series of bills that will encourage organ and tissue donation in New York State, ensuring that countless additional New Yorkers receive the “Gift of Life.” [Click here to view the Governor's press release]