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ASAN Praises Pennsylvania House Bill That Would Ban Disability Discrimination in Organ Transplants

ASAN applauds the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for passing House Bill No. 585, which would ban disability discrimination in organ transplants in the state. The bill would ensure that no person would be deemed ineligible to receive an organ solely because of a physical or mental disability, except to the extent that the disability has a medically significant impact on the viability of the organ transplant.

The proposed law also requires that doctors take the person’s support system into account when deciding whether disability does have a medically significant impact. For example, disability would not have a medically significant impact on the person’s compliance with a post-operation medical regimen as long as the person had a support system that helped them comply.

ASAN is very concerned about the widespread discrimination people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face when trying to get the organ transplants that would save their lives. Many doctors and hospitals have deemed people with developmental disabilities ineligible for organ transplants due to discriminatory, ableist beliefs about disability and the worth of a disabled person’s life. ASAN has vigorously pursued legislation and legal avenues towards banning these discriminatory practices, and previously summarized the issue in its Organ Transplantation and People with I/DD policy brief.

With this legislation, Pennsylvania’s General Assembly has made a promising stride toward full medical equality for people with disabilities. ASAN encourages the Pennsylvania Senate to pass the Senate version of House Bill No. 585 without delay.

For more information on ASAN’s policy positions on organ transplantation, contact Samantha Crane at scrane@autisticadvocacy.org.

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