U.S. Senators Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), along with Congressmen Michael Burgess M.D. (R-Texas-26) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.-10) introduced the Living Donor Protection Act of 2016 (S. 2584/H.R. 4616) to protect the rights of living organ donors.
Current law does not specify that living organ donors can take unpaid leave to recover from their donation, and does not guarantee that donors will have a job waiting for them after surgery. According to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Transplantation, as many as 11 percent of living organ donors experience difficulty securing or paying for insurance after their procedures because of discriminatory practices.
The law requires individuals who apply for a driver’s license to complete the organ donor registry section of the application by selecting either “yes” or “skip this question.” Previously, the section had been optional for prospective drivers to fill out.
The measure was changed again last November to require the state Department of Motor Vehicles to not process license applications that didn’t have a completed donor registry section. Since then, Carlucci and advocates said the number of people signing up to be donors has skyrocketed.
New York’s donor registry — which has had the lowest participation rate in the country — increased from 11 percent of the population signing up to be organ donors to 17 percent over the past three months, according to the New York Alliance for Donation.