Proos, local resident work toward ‘Lauren’s Law’

Published 6:42 pm Monday, February 8, 2016

(Submitted photo)

Sen. John Proos, R-St. Joseph, recently testified before the Senate Transportation Committee about the need to increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan. Proos’ bill, known as “Lauren’s Law,” would require residents to make a conscious decision about joining the organ donor registry in Michigan when they apply for or renew their driver’s license. (Submitted photo)

The Senate Transportation Committee on Thursday approved Sen. John Proos’ legislation, known as “Lauren’s Law,” which would help increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan.

“Although 90 percent of Americans say they support organ donation, only about 30 percent of adults nationwide have signed up as donors,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Becoming an organ donor is easy to do and can be life-saving to someone in need.”

According to Donate Life America, more than 120,000 men, women and children nationwide currently need life-saving organ transplants; every 10 minutes another name is added to the national organ transplant waiting list; and an average of 21 people die each day waiting for an available organ.

“The good news is that roughly half of Michigan adults are currently registered as organ donors, but it’s not enough,” Proos said. “Lauren’s Law would help increase the number of registered organ donors in Michigan and help save lives.”

Senate Bill 541 would require that when individuals apply for or renew a driver’s license that they select whether or not they want to be added to the Michigan anatomical gift donor registry.

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 got involved in this issue at the initiative of John Grinnell, a Southwest Michigan resident and organ recipient. Grinnell was a kidney transplant patient nearly 30 years ago and supports requiring everyone to make a conscious decision about being an organ donor.

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