Organ Transplant Disability Bias Gets Second Look Under Trump

From Bloomberg Law: For More Info, Go Here…

The first time Paul Corby got an organ transplant evaluation, his mother Karen Corby could tell the doctor had already decided not to put him on the donor wait list.

Paul is autistic and carries a Princess Peach doll for comfort, and the doctor asked why he was carrying the doll, she said. When the doctor asked Paul to name the 19 medications he was already taking, he couldn’t.

When Karen asked for a written copy of the doctor’s decision denying Paul a recommendation for a heart transplant, she saw the reason in black ink—it was his autism.

Disability rights activists have been working since the mid-1990s to stop doctors from denying organ transplants to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Their efforts could finally be paying off.

The director of the Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights wants to stop this behavior. He and his staff are discussing a written guidance warning transplant centers that such discrimination is illegal. Separately, the nonprofit organization that facilitates organ transplants, the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN), is looking at the ethical implications of determining organ transplant recipients based on disability.

Both the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibit health-care providers from denying patients access to services and programs based on disability. But neither law explicitly says it’s illegal to refuse to make someone transplant eligible.

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