CROTON, N.Y. The Croton Daily Voice accepts signed, original letters to the editor. Email letters to email@example.com.
To the Editor:
The Assembly and the Senate have both passed a bill I co-sponsored to increase New York State organ donor registration. I have long championed this life-saving program, and results from a questionnaire I sent out recently indicate that my constituents also strongly support such efforts.
The bill is known as Laurens Law and is named after 12-year-old Lauren Shields, a heart-transplant recipient who has gone on to become an advocate for organ donation.
Laurens Law will create a new model for organ and tissue donation that will require an individual who applies for a New York State drivers license to complete the organ donor registry section of the application. There will, however, be an option to skip this question.
The goal of Laurens Law is simple: make registration as easy as possible, increase the number of registered donors, and save the lives of New Yorkers. I was shocked when I learned that according to the New York State Organ Donor Network, only19% of eligible donors are currently enrolled in the New York State Organ and Tissue Registry, which pales in comparison to the national average of 43%, or to states like Utah and Iowa where donor rates are between 65% and 70%.
Ours is a state that leads the nation time and time again on all sorts of important issues, but unfortunately we lag in organ donation registration. Laurens Law will help move us in the right direction.