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Americans may soon be able to offer a kidney or liver over the Internet if a New York senator gets his way.

The city's senior senator Charles Schumer wants to introduce legislation to start a nationwide online registry for organ donors, today's New York Post reports.

Potential donors would sign up and their details would be stored on the Net, speeding up the process of matching them with people that need transplants.

At the moment, if a patient dies the hospital has to contact organ-buying organizations, and it is then up to someone to plough through records to see if that person had agreed to be a donor.

"In many cases, the current system's lack of co-ordinated information prevents potential lifesaving matches from taking place," Schumer said yesterday. "In almost every case, even when the match has been found, they've wasted precious time."

The move to introduce the legislation comes at a time of escalating waiting lists for donor transplants. Ten years ago around 2,4000 New Yorkers were waiting for organs. Last year the number topped 7,500.

The figure for the whole of the US totals 75,000.

The registry and accompanying publicity campaign is expected to cost between $25 million and $35 million. ®

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