Heart Recipient Lauren Shields Inspires Legislation That Could Dramatically Increase Organ Donor Registry Enrollment
During National Donate Life Month in April, the New York State Senate passed legislation—known as Lauren’s Law—that could significantly increase the number of organ and tissue registry enrollments on the state’s donor registry.
The legislation, sponsored by Senator David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Orange), and inspired by 11-year-old heart recipient Lauren Shields on her birthday, would require driver’s license applicants to specifically indicate their donation decision.
“New York State took a giant leap in encouraging life-saving organ donation,” Senator Carlucci said. “My gratitude goes out to Lauren Shields and her family for doing so much to bring attention to this very important issue, and I wish her many more birthdays to come.”
Lauren’s Law would prohibit a driver's license application from being processed unless the organ donation section is filled out. Applicants would have to check a box stating “yes” or “not at this time.” There currently is an organ donation section on the application, but it is not required to be filled out.
The bill has been sent to the Assembly and then, if approved, presented to Governor Andrew Cuomo for his signature. Assemblyman Felix Ortiz (D-Brooklyn) is sponsoring the bill in the Assembly.