Founded in October 2010 by Rocco Andriola, Esq., Tom Hales and Ted Lawson, all of whom are passionate activists in the organ donation and transplant field, SLNNY believes the current donation system in New York based on altruistic organ donors is a failure and needs immediate change. There is an organ shortage crisis because the supply of donated organs has not kept pace with the increasing demand for transplants.
An overwhelming majority of New Yorkers understands and support the life-saving principle of organ donation. Yet, New York State ranks second to last in the nation with only a 15% sign-up rate on the states donor registry. Almost 10,000 New Yorkers are on the waiting list in a “life and death” waiting game.
It is not the “why” that has rendered the current system a failure but the “how”. Many do not know how to sign up to be a donor. Often family members don’t know their loved one’s wishes about organ donation. Some harbor myths and misconceptions which discourage them from signing up. When family members are called to the hospital because a loved one has suffered a tragedy, they frequently cannot comprehend brain death and are unable to make a decision. The US transplant community is able to recover, on average, 2.78 organs per organ donor. With presumed consent, a potential additional 10,000 to 15,000 lives could be saved.
By allowing the use of appropriate financial incentives, more living donors will come forward because they no longer will have to bear the financial burden involved, including travel, food and lodging expenses that are not reimbursed by insurance companies and time off from work without pay. We believe that eliminating such disincentives will vastly encourage potential living donors.
We plan to accomplish this through the passage of laws changing the system accompanied by education of the public and New York State legislators and public officials.