TITLE OF BILL:
to amend the public health law
and the state technology law, in relation to organ donation
This bill would revise the New York State Donate Life Registry
("Registry") for organ and tissue donation to: (1) provide that
notice confirming registration through the Registry's website could
be provided in electronic form; and (2) clarify that individuals may
amend or revoke their registration in the Registry through electronic
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend Public Health Law ("PHL") § 4310 to
provide that notice to enrollees of their registration in the
Registry need not be "written," clarifying that such notice may be
made by electronic means.
Section 2 of the bill would amend State Technology Law ("STL")
307(1) to allow the use of an electronic signature to amend or
revoke, as well as to provide initial, consent for the making of an
anatomical gift through the Registry.
Section 3 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date,
PHL § 4310 requires the Department of Health ("DOH") to establish the
Registry and provides for Registry enrollment as a means by which
individuals can register their consent to make an anatomical gift.
STL § 307 allows the use of an electronic signature for enrollment in
the registry, but otherwise prohibits the use of an electronic
signature for certain other transactions, including documents
providing for the disposition of a person's body upon death. The
current language of the State Technology Law does not clearly
authorize the use of an electronic signature for other Registry
Chapter 161 of the Laws of 2010 permitted the use of an electronic
signature for registration in the Registry.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
Today, approximately 113,000 people - 9,700 of them New Yorkers - are
on the national waiting list for organ transplants. On average, 18
people die every day in the United States, because they did not
receive a desperately needed organ. Organ donation can made by a
deceased donor, who can elect to donate his or her kidneys, pancreas,
liver, lungs, heart and/or intestinal organs, or a living donor, who
can give a kidney, or a portion of the liver, lung, intestine, or
pancreas. In addition, various types of tissues can be donated and
used to enhance health or save lives. For example, donated skin can
be used to help someone recover from severe burns, and a donated
heart valve can help repair a cardiac defect. The tissues donated by
one person can positively impact the lives of over 50 other people.
Moreover, a donated cornea can help preserve or restore the sight of
In New York, an individual who is at least 18 years old may make a
gift, effective upon death, of any part of his or her body (including
organs, tissues and eyes) for the purpose of transplantation or
medical research by registering with the Registry. Individuals can
consent to make such a gift by: (1) indicating consent when applying
for or renewing a driver's license or a non-driver's identification
card at the Department of Motor Vehicles; (2) signing a consent form
when registering to vote with a county board of elections; (3)
filling out a Registry enrollment form with a local organ procurement
organization or tissue bank; (4) signing a form, available from the
DOH website and returning it by mail to DOH; and (5) enrolling
through the Registry website to register electronically by use of an
electronic signature. This last option has only recently become
available in New York, but its ease of use is anticipated to
substantially increase the number of enrollees within the State - a
desperately needed improvement, given that New York State currently
has one of the lowest registration rates in the nation.
To further enhance the convenience of the electronic signature option,
this bill would provide that in addition to initially enrolling in
the Registry through the website, individuals may also amend or
revoke their registration through such means. In addition, the bill
clarifies that notice of an individual's registration - which must
be provided to such person upon his or her enrollment in the Registry
- could be written or electronic, permitting such notice to be made
by electronic means when appropriate.
This bill is not anticipated to have a fiscal impact on the State.
This bill would take effect immediately.