Speaker Carl Heastie and Health Committee Chair Richard N. Gottfried today announced the Assembly has passed the New York State Living Donor Support Act to encourage living organ donation through financial support and educational initiatives (A.146-A, Gottfried).
“New York must do more to encourage and support lifesaving living organ donation,” said Speaker Heastie. “We rank abysmally low compared to the rest of the country, and I am proud to see this legislation passed by the Legislature to help ensure that we are doing everything in our power to save lives of individuals on transplant waiting lists.”
“New York faces an organ shortage for transplants. We should support and protect those who choose to be a living donor by making sure they are covered for health care costs and lost wages,” said Assemblymember Gottfried. “I’m delighted this life saving bill has passed both houses. I thank the organ donation advocates, Speaker Heastie, and Senate sponsor Gustavo Rivera for their efforts moving this forward, and urge Governor Hochul to sign the bill into law.”
The New York State Living Donor Support Act would increase living donation by removing financial barriers and educating the public about living donation. It would provide reimbursement for certain expenses for living donors who are residents of New York and who make a living donation in which the ultimate recipient is also a New York resident. Eligible expenses for reimbursement would include financial costs incurred by living donors as a result of the donation, including lost wages, sick and vacation days, childcare, travel and lodging or medical expenses associated with the living donation.
The bill also provides for patient education through nephrologists and primary care practitioners. Knowledge about living donation is very low, with more than one third of New Yorkers believing the risk of death during donor surgery to be greater than one in 20, when the real risk is one in 3,300.