If legislation making its way through the State Legislature is passed, it will be much easier to enroll in New York's organ donor registry.
That's what officials are hoping, with only about 21% of those eligible currently signed up to donate their organs. Rob Kochik, executive director of the Finger Lakes Donor Recovery Network says some people think their age is a barrier to organ donation, but that is not true. "When we educate and say people in their fifties and sixties can donate many of their organs, patients in their seventies can donate liver and kidneys, and patients in their eighties can donate their liver to help someone, they're often amazed."
The measure that recently passed in the State Senate would streamline the registration process for the state's Donate Life Registry and put the operation under the control of a non profit organization. The legislation is expected to be introduced in the Assembly in the next session.
Kochik says there are currently about 700 Rochester area patients on the waiting list for organs and tissues. New York ranks 48th among all states in the number of eligible registrants who are signed up for organ donation. The state has the third highest need for organs and tissues compared to other states.