Assemblyman Patrick Burke (D-Buffalo) has introduced a bill that would create an opt-out system for organ donation and tissue registry in New York State.
If approved, residents ages 18 and up would automatically be registered as organ donors unless they choose to opt-out of the registry. On the other hand, 16 and 17-year-olds would be required to opt-in to the system.
Burke says the legislation has the potential to save countless lives. He says more than 9,000 people are on a waiting list for organs in New York. That's the third highest need in the country, yet New York has the second lowest enrollment percentage.
The legislation has been met with a lot of opposition. However, Burke responded in a statement that read:
"It feels as though clearing up misinformation on the internet has become a large part of my job. I did not submit a proposal to harvest people’s organs after they die and I did not submit a proposal to have an automatic organ donor program for every New Yorker."
Burke goes on to say the proposal is meant to spark a conversation about the importance of organ donation. He says he does not intend on moving forward until the proposal has significant public support.