Editorial: Don’t wait on Albany

Some would say this is on account of New Yorkers themselves, who are not generally perceived as paragons of empathy. We’d like to think it’s because folks just don’t think about it one way or another — our public awareness campaigns as of late are more focused on getting people to stop killing themselves with sugar and smoke and less focused on what to do after that moment has come to pass.

Clearly, Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, D-New York, thinks that way too, because he’s sponsoring Lauren’s Law (No. A10039B, if you’re looking for a rollicking good summer read), which would put a box on the driver’s license applications reading “Would you like to be added to the Donate Life registry?” Check “yes” or “skip this question.”

The thing is, the drivers license application already has an organ donor section right at the top. We’d argue time spent changing the forms to smoother language could well be better used to educate the public on the benefits of organ donation.

So, a few pieces of “did you know” from the New York Organ Donor Network: someone dies every 13 hours in the state of New York waiting for an organ transplant; more than 114,000 people in the U.S. are waiting for an organ transplant right now; every year, more than one million people receive a transplant of some kind (tissue, organ, eyes, etc.).

So next time you’re renewing your drivers license, put some thought into filling out that box at the top. Or, visit donatelifeny.org for details on other ways you can be added to the donation registry and get ahead of lawmakers in making a difference.

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