New York State has one of the highest needs for organ donors and one of the lowest rates of signing on to be an organ donor.

One of the NY assemblymen from Buffalo, Pat Burke, has introduced a bill that would automatically register residents 18 and older as organ and tissue donors. The only way to get out of it would be to opt out.

Sixteen and seventeen year olds would have to sign up if they want to be a donor before 18.

After opinions and questions started circulating, here's what Burke released:

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.

This proposal is meant to spark the conversation about the importance of organ donation. If this proposal became law, it would change the question on a New York State driver’s license application from an opt-in question to an opt-out question. Under this proposal, driver’s license applicants over the age of eighteen would have to opt-out by saying “no” to being an organ donor. The application would not be complete until this question was answered.

There are thousands of New Yorkers currently on the waitlist for a life saving organ. I believe this minor alteration on a NYS driver’s license application would increase the amount of people registered as organ donors in our state and could potentially save the lives of people waiting for a donor.

I do not intend to move forward with this proposal until it has earned significant public support, but it is my hope that it draws attention to the need for everyone to register as an organ donor. People can choose to donate the gift of life at https://donatelife.ny.gov/register/.