New York, NY - October 6, 2016 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued a health alert today on New York’s shortage of registered organ donors to mark Organ Donor Enrollment Day, and highlighted ways New Yorkers can sign up to become an organ donor if they wish to do so. One organ donor registration can save as many as eight lives, and the same donor can improve fifty lives by restoring eyesight, helping burn patients, and preventing disability and death. In 2016, 297 New Yorkers died while waiting for transplants, yet New York has the second lowest number of registered organ donors in the country. Compared with the national average of about 50%, only 26% of New Yorkers are registered organ donors.
“Together, we can help prevent the tragic and unnecessary loss of life among those awaiting an organ transplant. I urge all New Yorkers who wish to donate their organs to visit the Donate to Life Registry to ensure their choice is known,” Attorney General Schneiderman said.
The number of New Yorkers on an organ and tissue transplant waitlist is the third-highest in the country. Approximately 10,000 New Yorkers are currently on the United Networks for Organ Sharing waiting list, and these numbers continue to grow. More than 1,700 New Yorkers have been waiting for five years or longer.
Organ donation does not affect medical care. The donation becomes an option only after all life-saving measures have been taken and death has been declared by a physician who is not affiliated with donation. Donation does not delay or change funeral arrangements, and an open casket is possible. All major religions support organ donation.
Consumers can register to be an organ donor in the following ways:
- Sign up through the New York State Donate Life Registry
- Sign up when you apply for or renew your New York State driver’s license or non-driver ID card
- If you already have a driver’s license or it’s not time to renew it, sign up online through the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles website (requires setting up an account)
- Sign up using Organize’s online registration form
- Use your iPhone’s Health App to sign up by going into Health à Medical ID à Organ Donation Registry
- Sign up when you register to vote
For more information about the organ donation process, consumers may visit the following additional websites: