February 15, 2016
By Stephanie West
New York, NY – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that legislation authorizing 16 and 17 year olds to enroll in the New York State Donate Life Registry goes into effect February 14th coinciding with National Organ Donor Day.
The new legislation enables this population to enroll in the Registry at the same time they first apply for a driver license, learner permit or non-driver ID, potentially increasing enrollments in New York by thousands.
“This new law is a balanced effort to help in this administration’s efforts to expand state’s donor registry and help more New Yorkers receive the gift of life,” Governor Cuomo said. “With this action, we are taking one more step toward a stronger, healthier New York for all.”
In August, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to authorize 16 and 17 year olds to register their consent to donate, opening up the organ donor Registry to an entirely new population which will increase Registry enrollment rates. The new law includes appropriate safeguards that allow parents or legal guardians to rescind the decision if the minor dies before the age of 18.
The New York State Donate Life Registry is a confidential, computerized system that registers an individual’s consent to donate his/her organs upon death. Under State law, the Registry can only be accessed to determine an individual’s donation status after death and only by a federally approved organ procurement organization or licensed eye and tissue bank. Enrolling to be an organ donor will not affect one’s medical care and/or funeral arrangements, and there is no cost to the donor’s family.
Commissioner of Health for New York State, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, said, “The best gift a New Yorker can give is the gift of life. Governor Cuomo has made expanding the Donate Life registry a priority and is making it easier than ever to sign up as a donor. This law helps turn tragedy into newfound hope for those needing a donation and I encourage all New Yorkers to take action, and get registered today.”