East Elmhurst, NY — Today, the New York State Senate passed Senator Jose Peralta’s bill that will include a space on applications for student loans and aid programs to voluntarily sign up for the Donate Life Registry. The proposal (S.6196) will increase opportunities for New Yorkers to register as organ donors. Currently, New York State ranks third in the nation with the highest need for donors, and it is second to last in the nation per capita when it comes to registered organ donors.
Donate Life, a nonprofit donor organ organization in the country, pointed out that nearly 9,500 New Yorkers throughout the state are waiting for organ transplants. Over 1,600 New Yorkers have been on a waiting list for a life-saving organ transplant for more than five years. In 2017, more than 2,200 New Yorkers received a lifesaving organ transplant.
“Signing up for the organ donation registry is the highest form of solidarity with others. One organ donated is one life saved. Unfortunately, far too many New Yorkers are waiting for organs. Simply put, this proposal will increase the number of New Yorkers who become organ donors by including an option to check if you want to be included in the donate life registry on student loan forms,” said Senator Peralta. “This is a common-sense approach to increasing the number of people who register as organ donors.”
Under the legislation passed by the Senate, the student loan and student aid applications will include the question: “Would you like to be added to the Donate Life Registry? Check box for ‘yes,’ or check the box ‘skip question.’ Currently, New Yorkers who want to become organ donors can only do so by signing up for the Donate Life Registry at the Department of Motor Vehicles, when applying for health coverage through the New York State health exchange, on voter registration forms, and separate stand-alone forms.
Senator Peralta urges the New York Assembly to follow suit and pass his proposal to make it easier for New Yorkers to sign up for the organ donor registry.