Lauren’s Law Goes Into Effect
Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci (R,C,WF,I-Huntington Station) today announced that Lauren’s Law took effect this week in New York State. The law is named after Lauren Shields of Rockland County, who nearly died at the age of nine while waiting for a heart transplant. Under Lauren’s Law, anyone who applies for a state drivers’ license or learners’ permit will be required to declare whether or not they wish to be added to the Donate Life Registry. The late Assemblyman James D. Conte, Lupinacci’s predecessor, helped draft the legislation and was a passionate advocate for its passage in 2012.
“Assemblyman Conte was one of the most outspoken supporters of the Donate Life Registry,” said Lupinacci. “As a two-time kidney transplant recipient himself, Jim knew the personal impact that organ donation has on an individual and their family. Lauren’s Law will help save lives and increase the quality of life for thousands of New Yorkers by increasing organ and tissue donor enrollments throughout the state.”
While there was an existing organ donation section on the license and permit applications, applicants were not required to fill it out. Currently, only 22 percent of New Yorkers over the age of 18 are registered organ donors, compared to the nation’s 45 percent average. The state’s Organ Donor Network reports that over 10,000 New Yorkers are currently waiting for a life-saving organ. On average, someone dies every 16 hours waiting for an organ transplant. Lauren Shields, now 13, has become a public figure fighting to increase organ donation in the state.
For more information on becoming an organ donor and the Donate Life registry, please visit: http://www.donatelifeny.org/.