Relates to organ donation.
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the public health law and the state technology law, in relation to organ donation
This bill would revise the New York State Donate Life Registry ("Registry") for organ and tissue donation to: (1) provide that notice confirming registration through the Registry's website could be provided in electronic form; and (2) clarify that individuals may amend or revoke their registration in the Registry through electronic signature.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 of the bill would amend Public Health Law ("PHL") § 4310 to provide that notice to enrollees of their registration in the Registry need not be "written," clarifying that such notice may be made by electronic means.
Section 2 of the bill would amend State Technology Law ("STL") 307(1) to allow the use of an electronic signature to amend or revoke, as well as to provide initial, consent for the making of an anatomical gift through the Registry.
Section 3 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date,
PHL § 4310 requires the Department of Health ("DOH") to establish the Registry and provides for Registry enrollment as a means by which individuals can register their consent to make an anatomical gift.
STL § 307 allows the use of an electronic signature for enrollment in the registry, but otherwise prohibits the use of an electronic signature for certain other transactions, including documents providing for the disposition of a person's body upon death. The current language of the State Technology Law does not clearly authorize the use of an electronic signature for other Registry transactions.
Chapter 161 of the Laws of 2010 permitted the use of an electronic signature for registration in the Registry.
STATEMENT IN SUPPORT:
Today, approximately 113,000 people - 9,700 of them New Yorkers - are on the national waiting list for organ transplants. On average, 18 people die every day in the United States, because they did not receive a desperately needed organ. Organ donation can made by a deceased donor, who can elect to donate his or her kidneys, pancreas, liver, lungs, heart and/or intestinal organs, or a living donor, who can give a kidney, or a portion of the liver, lung, intestine, or pancreas. In addition, various types of tissues can be donated and used to enhance health or save lives. For example, donated skin can be used to help someone recover from severe burns, and a donated heart valve can help repair a cardiac defect. The tissues donated by one person can positively impact the lives of over 50 other people. Moreover, a donated cornea can help preserve or restore the sight of the recipient.
In New York, an individual who is at least 18 years old may make a gift, effective upon death, of any part of his or her body (including organs, tissues and eyes) for the purpose of transplantation or medical research by registering with the Registry. Individuals can consent to make such a gift by: (1) indicating consent when applying for or renewing a driver's license or a non-driver's identification card at the Department of Motor Vehicles; (2) signing a consent form when registering to vote with a county board of elections; (3) filling out a Registry enrollment form with a local organ procurement organization or tissue bank; (4) signing a form, available from the DOH website and returning it by mail to DOH; and (5) enrolling through the Registry website to register electronically by use of an electronic signature. This last option has only recently become available in New York, but its ease of use is anticipated to substantially increase the number of enrollees within the State - a desperately needed improvement, given that New York State currently has one of the lowest registration rates in the nation.
To further enhance the convenience of the electronic signature option, this bill would provide that in addition to initially enrolling in the Registry through the website, individuals may also amend or revoke their registration through such means. In addition, the bill clarifies that notice of an individual's registration - which must be provided to such person upon his or her enrollment in the Registry - could be written or electronic, permitting such notice to be made by electronic means when appropriate.
This bill is not anticipated to have a fiscal impact on the State.
This bill would take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6972 IN SENATE April 18, 2012 ___________Introduced by Sen. HANNON -- (at request of the Department of Health) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law and the state technology law, in relation to organ donation THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivisions 1, 2 and 3 of section 4310 of the public health law, subdivision 1 as separately amended by chapters 639 and 640 of the laws of 2006, subdivision 2 as amended by chapter 161 of the laws of 2010 and subdivision 3 as amended by chapter 639 of the laws of 2006, are amended to read as follows: 1. The department shall establish an organ and tissue donor registry, which shall be called and be referred to as the "donate life registry"
[, which]. SUCH REGISTRY shall contain a listing of all donors who have declared their consent to make an anatomical gift. 2. Such registration of consent to make an anatomical gift can be made through (a) indication made on the application or renewal form of a license, (b) indication made on a non-driver identification card appli- cation or renewal form, (c) enrolling in the registry website maintained by the department, which may include using an electronic signature [under regulations of the commissioner and]subject to article three of the state technology law, (d) indication made on a voter registration form pursuant to subdivision five of section 5-210 of the election law, or (e) through any other method identified by the commissioner. The registration shall take effect upon the [department sending]PROVISION OF written OR ELECTRONIC notice of the registration to the person enrolling in the registry. [In making regulations on using an electronic signature for a registration of consent, the commissioner shall consult with the director of the office of technology.]3. (a) Information contained in the registry shall be accessible to (i) federally [regulated]DESIGNATED organ procurement [agencies]ORGAN- IZATIONS, (ii) eye and tissue banks licensed by the department pursuantEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD14752-03-2 S. 6972 2
to article forty-three-B of this chapter, AND (iii) any other entity formally approved by the commissioner. (b) The information contained in the registry shall not be released to any person except as expressly authorized by this section solely for the purpose of identifying potential organ and tissue donors at or near the time of death. S 2. Subdivision 1 of section 307 of the state technology law, as amended by chapter 161 of the laws of 2010, is amended to read as follows: 1. To any document providing for the disposition of an individual's person or property upon death or incompetence, or appointing a fiduciary of an individual's person or property, including, without limitation, wills, trusts, decisions consenting to orders not to resuscitate, powers of attorney and health care proxies, with the exception of: (a) contrac- tual beneficiary designations; and (b) the registration of making, AMENDING, OR REVOKING an anatomical gift under section forty-three hundred ten of the public health law
[under regulations under that section]. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.