New proposal could change organ donation system

April 15, 2019 06:40 AM

NEW YORK (WHEC/AP) — State officials are marking National Donate Life Month with a stark statistic: Nearly 9,500 New Yorkers are currently on waiting lists for donated organs that could save their lives.

A lawmaker from Western New York wants to help make it easier for those in need of a life-saving organ. 


Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the state is dedicated to signing more people up to be donors. Recent changes have helped boost the total number of people on the state's donor registry to more than 5.6 million.

The new and controversial proposal would make it so New Yorkers who are 18 years or older would automatically be registered as a donor unless they opt out. Right now, you have to opt-in to be an organ donor.

"Some people are kind of freaked out about the notion of being that someone is going to harvest their organs, and that's not what this is at all," Assemblyman Pat Burke said. "It's simply you still have a choice, but you have to make the act of opting out. I want to make it clear, too, this is for adults."

This would not automatically register 16- and 17-year-olds; they'd have to opt in as they do now. 

Burke says he'll only push the bill forward if it gets a lot of public support.


Copyright 2019 - WHEC-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

Relay Media Amp

We no longer have Facebook comments on this site. Please visit our Facebook Page to join the conversation.