New Yorkers, you will all be organ donor

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
New Yorkers, you will all be organ donor
Thu, 04-29-2010 - 10:17pm

Proposal: All New Yorkers Become Organ Donors
Assemblyman Brodsky Introduces Bill That Would Give State The Right To Decide If You Are To Give The Gift Of Life
If Passed In Albany, Law Would Be First Of Its Kind In The United States
Kirstin Cole

, but a vast shortage of donors continues to mean people are losing their lives while on waiting lists.

But there is a unique proposal that could change all that.

New York State Assemblyman Richard Brodsky nearly lost his daughter, Willie, at 4 years old when she needed a kidney transplant, and again 10 years later when her second kidney failed.

"We have 10,000 New Yorkers on the list today waiting for organs. We import half the organs we transplant. It is an unacceptable failed system," Brodsky said.

To fix that, Brodsky introduced a new bill in Albany that would enroll all New Yorkers as an organ donor, unless they actually opt out of organ donation. It would be the first law of its kind in the United States.

"Overseas, 24 nations have it. Israel has it. Others have it. And it works without a lot of controversy," Brodsky said.

Currently one of the biggest obstacles to being a donor is while 9 out of 10 are favorable to it only 1 out of 10 is signed up to be a donor.

On Wednesday, the New York Organ Donor Network honored families who've donated the organs of loved ones with a planting ceremony at New York Botanical Gardens. Jean Carnevale had a timely talk about organ donation with her 27-year=old son before he died in a fatal car accident.

"Michael and I had a conversation two weeks prior on the way to a family member's funeral," Carnevale said.

And Emily Melendez and her siblings made the choice for their 68-year-old mother.

"Although I lost my mom, she lives on in three other people," Melendez said.

"The thing about organ donor is we have the cure right now in our hands. It's not like trying to cure cancer," said Elaine Berg of the Organ Donor Network.

Legal experts said if the law is passed, it will likely face challenges in court from family members or some religious groups.

"I think it's a little heavy handed. I think we should have the right to choose that," said Rachel Rogers of Crown Heights.

But many are hoping this law will help people to make a choice -- one way or the other.

Currently, you can make your organ donation wishes known by signing the back of your driver's license, signing up online or through a health care proxy. We have more information here.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2010
Sat, 05-01-2010 - 5:30pm
Glad to see it's improved...that information should be an integral part of your legal ID and available in any ID search so it's accessible to hospitals if the "unthinkable" were to happen.
Avatar for kynvelyn2
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Sat, 05-01-2010 - 3:43pm

Don't they give you some kind of sticky "dot" to put on your license?...that will fall off after a few months? <<

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-30-2009
Sat, 05-01-2010 - 1:17am

"This is a proven way to increase donations."

Yeah of course it is. But the numbers will include those who haven't been able to make up their hearts and minds yet.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2010
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 11:23pm
Don't they give you some kind of sticky "dot" to put on your license?...that will fall off after a few months? They should also make the "organ donor decision" have the weight of a valid will.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-07-2009
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 9:19pm
Let people sell their organs then, if the state can determine where your organs go, why not profit from it.
Avatar for kynvelyn2
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-31-2003
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 6:07pm

I just recently renewed my drivers license, and was specifically asked if I wanted to be an organ doner.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-23-2004
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 12:50pm

This is a proven way to increase donations. I see nothing wrong with it, and encourage all states to follow suit.

Those who truly have a moral issue with organ donation will actively choose to not be a donor.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-01-2010
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 12:46pm
rather than force people, the government should invest a little on education and make your agreement or non-agreement an indelible part of your driver's license.
Community Leader
Registered: 09-14-1997
Fri, 04-30-2010 - 6:30am

My sister waited 6 years for kidney transplant. I was not eligible, and neither was our other sister. She did not tolerate dialysis well, but had to do it 4 hours a day, three days a week.

Still, this terrified father has to understand that choice means choice.

Having said that, please, please make your wishes on organ donation known to your entire family and your family doctor.