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NY Legislature Passes ‘Lauren’s Law’ In Hopes Of Boosting Organ Donor Enrollment

12-year-old Lauren Shields of Stony Point, NY (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

12-year-old Lauren Shields of Stony Point, NY (credit: Marla Diamond / WCBS 880)

CBS New York (con't)

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NANUET, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — New York lawmakers have voted on a bill that requires a mandatory question about donor registration to appear on driver’s license applications.

The aim is to increase the number of organ donors in the New York, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reports.

WCBS 880′s Marla Diamond On The Story

Currently, the question concerning donor registration is optional. Under the new bill, all potential drivers will have to actively consider the possibility of becoming a donor.

The bill, which passed in the State Legislature on Wednesday, is known as “Lauren’s Law” and is named for Lauren Shields, a 12-year-old Rockland County heart transplant recipient.

Shields, who has advocated for the bill since undergoing heart transplant surgery in 2009, says it is important to increase the number of New York state donors.

“I don’t want to see anyone else have to go through what I had to go through, and have to wait as long as I did,” Shields told Diamond. “So, this is just so amazing to have this law pass.”

On Friday, Shields joined State Senator David Carlucci in announcing the passage of the bill.

“By making that a mandatory field on the driver’s license application, we believe we’ll significantly increase the amount of people enrolled,” said Carlucci.

Nationwide, 42 percent of the population is registered as organ donors, compared to only 18 percent of people New York State. This leaves New York with the second lowest number of registered organ donors in the country behind Texas.

If the bill is signed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo, New York would become the second state, along with California, to have a mandatory donor registration question on driver’s license applications.

Do you support the requirement to answer the question of organ donation? Sound off in the comments section below.