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State Senate OKs Carlucci Bill To Make Organ-Donation Law Permanent

State Sen. David Carlucci and Lauren Shields, the Stony Point resident and heart transplant recipient after whom Lauren's Law is named.
State Sen. David Carlucci and Lauren Shields, the Stony Point resident and heart transplant recipient after whom Lauren's Law is named. Photo Credit: Provided

CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. -- State Sen. David Carlucci (D-Rockland/Westchester) who has been working to make sure residents in need of organ transplants receive a donor organ, announced today that the Senate has passed the bill he wrote and presented to permanently extend Lauren’s Law.

Lauren’s Law, first passed in 2012, has worked to increase the number of eligible organ donors in New York. The law is named after Rockland County native Lauren Shields, who at the age of 7 waited more than a month to receive her lifesaving heart transplant.

“I am enormously grateful for the support and dedication Sen. Carlucci, the New York State Legislature and Gov. Andrew Cuomo have given to the issue of organ and tissue donation," said Lauren’s mother, Jeanne Shields. "The journey to an organ transplant is long, and other families should not have to go through this struggle. Each individual donor is crucial. We believe Lauren’s Law provides that important opportunity for New Yorkers to help save a life. Lauren and I could not be more thankful to all those who helped make Lauren’s Law permanent,”

According to the New York Alliance for Donation, while the national average of designated donors is approximately 52 percent, only 25 percent of New Yorkers have joined the New York State Donate Life Organ and Tissue Donor Registry.

The majority of New Yorkers who join the donor registry do so through the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. However, historically, only about 10 percent of individuals completed the donor designation section on the DMV form.

“Allowing Lauren’s Law to sunset would be a major setback, putting the lives of the thousands of men, women and children who are waiting for a life-saving transplant in jeopardy. This is a setback that we as New Yorkers could not afford. With today’s vote to make Lauren’s Law permanent, this will increase eligible donors and expand our state’s registry. I truly want to thank the namesake for this bill, Lauren Shields, for her tireless advocacy and inspirational message of hope. Now this bill moves to the Assembly, where I urge my colleagues to support it," said Carlucci.

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