Proos introduces ‘Lauren’s Law’

LANSING—Sen. John Proos introduced legislation known as “Lauren’s Law” on Thursday in the state Senate to help increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan.

“Currently, only 32 percent of drivers in our state are registered as organ donors,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “This new law would certainly raise those numbers and help save Michigan lives.”

According to the U.S. Department of Human Services, 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, while only about 30 percent of adults have signed up as donors, nationally. More than 120,000 men, women and children currently need lifesaving organ transplants, and 18 people die each day awaiting an available organ.

Proos’ measure is named “Lauren’s Law” after Lauren Shields, who at age 9 was placed on life support while waiting for a heart transplant, which she eventually received. She became the public face of organ donation in New York and helped pass a similar law there.

Proos said he got involved in this issue because of the initiative of John Grinnell, a Southwest Michigan resident and organ recipient.

“As a kidney transplant patient 27 years ago, I support the legislation to require everyone to make a conscious decision about being an organ donor on their driver’s license,” said Grinnell. “There are many people waiting for organ transplants and for those who choose to be an organ donor, they can give the gift of life to others at the time of their death. I would like to thank Senator John Proos for introducing this legislation.”

Senate Bill 793 would require that when individuals apply for or renew a driver’s license that they select whether they would like to be added to the Michigan anatomical gift donor registry. The secretary of state’s office would inquire either orally or in writing whether an individual wishes to participate in the anatomical gift donor registry program in Michigan. 

For information about organ donation or to sign up to become a donor, residents may visit the Gift of Life Michigan website at giftoflifemichigan.org.

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Editor’s Note – Audio comments by Sen. Proos are available on the senator’s webpage at www.SenatorJohnProos.com. Click on “Podcasts.”