MAMARONECK, N.Y. -- State Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, is pushing for a bill that would expand the pool of available organ donors.
April is National Donate Life Month. The recently passed state budget included additional funding for awareness efforts, and Latimer has introduced legislation that would allow 15- to 17-year-olds, with consent of a parent or guardian, to register as potential organ donors, according to a press release.
"With a need for organ donors so great, I believe we owe it to those in need to try every method of encouraging possible donations," Latimer said in the release. "It is clearly an unfortunate set of circumstances when someone that young passes away but with every minute that someone sick, young and old, is on the waiting list, their quality of life decreases significantly. Not only would this expansion increase the amount of available donors, it's an opportunity for parents to talk with their young adults about an important issue. I believe efforts we have taken are helpful, but until we ultimately get people off the waiting list in a shorter time frame, we still have work to do."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo directed the Department of Motor Vehicles to launch a public service campaign with TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz in 2013, and this year more than $500,000 was included in the budget to fund operational and promotional costs of the NYS Donate Life Registry, according to the release.
"During this month of awareness, I will be asking my colleagues to think about this issue and join me in sponsoring legislation that would expand the pool of potential organ donors," Latimer said in the release.