November 2, 2017
Albany, NY

No. 171: Organ Donation Policy

TOP No. 171: Organ Donation Policy

WHEREAS, there is a severe shortage of organs available for transplant in the United States, including in New York; and

WHEREAS, the donation of organs is essential for many life-saving procedures to be performed in New York State; and

WHEREAS, there are approximately 10,000 New Yorkers currently in need of an organ transplant; and

WHEREAS, only twenty-eight percent (28%) of New York's eligible population (approximately 4.5  million) have registered to donate their organs, eyes or tissues; and

WHEREAS, this severe shortage of organs donated and available for transplantation in the State of New York detrimentally affects the health of thousands of our most vulnerable and at risk New Yorkers; and

WHEREAS, an increase in the availability of donated organs, eyes and tissues would reduce the severity and length of many forms of injury and illness and the cost of public medical services, thereby promoting public health and safety; and

WHEREAS, such donations are entirely voluntary and a matter of individual choice, without compensation, and should be encouraged; and

WHEREAS, it is critical that the State of New York take additional steps to ensure that New Yorkers in need have access to viable organs in a timely manner; and

WHEREAS, the State of New York is committed to increasing organ donation and increasing awareness about donation and its benefits; and the State possesses the necessary expertise, resources, and infrastructure to accomplish this goal.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ANDREW M. CUOMO, Governor of the State of New York, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Laws of the State of New York,  do  hereby  order  as follows:

I.       It is hereby established that the policy of the State of New York is to increase the number of registered organ donors in New York State.                                                                                                           ·

II.       To effectuate this policy, the Department of Health is hereby directed to work with the New York State Transplant Council, the New York Alliance for Donation, providers, and hospital systems licensed to provide organ transplant services to develop approaches to increase the number of registered organ donors in the State," including but not limited to opportunities for individuals to enroll in the NYS Donate Life Registry when applying for government benefits, services, andlicenses.  

III.       This approach shall be adopted by all State agencies and departments over which the Governor has executive authority ("State entity").

IV.       Every State entity shall cooperate with the Department  of Health,  and furnish such information and assistance as reasonably necessary. The Department of Health and the Office oflnformation Technology Services are directed to make staff available to provide the State entities with any assistance that may be necessary to ensure effective  implementation.

V.       Consistent  with existing law, organ donor enrollment shall be completely voluntary.

VI.       Nothing in this Executive Order shall limit an individual's ability to register as an organ donor · through existing means, including but not limited to: (i) indication made on the application or renewal form of a driver's license, (ii) indication made on a non-driver identification card application or renewal form, (iii) indication made on a voter registration form, (iv) indication made on the application for health care coverage offered through the state health benefit exchange, (v) enrollment through the donate life registry website, (vi) paper enrollment submitted to the NYS Donate Life Registry, or (vii) through any other method identified  by the Commissioner of Health.


GIVEN  under my hand and the Privy Seal of the State in the City of Albany this sixteenth day of October in the year two thousand seventeen.




Secretary to the Governor