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Lawmakers target organ transplant discrimination with new bills

Disability rights advocates back the bill.

When it comes to receiving organ donations, not everyone qualifies. Two Florida Republicans want to change that.

Sen. Aaron Bean and Rep. Jason Fischer, both from Jacksonville, are sponsoring bills to allow disabled donors to receive organs.

The goal: to “protect” access to “life-saving medical treatment.”

Fischer’s bill (HB 1179) was filed Wednesday afternoon. Bean’s is expected to follow.

“I am proud to carry this legislation in the Senate,” said Bean. “If someone has been medically approved for an organ transplant and has passed the necessary evaluations, this bill will make it possible for Floridians with disabilities to get on the transplant list.”

“As someone with family members affected by this, it’s unthinkable and outrageous that the health care system would discriminate against someone because of a disability,” Fischer added. “Unfortunately, this is far too often the case. I’m proud to sponsor this bill to stop discrimination and help vulnerable Floridians receive the life-saving treatment they deserve.”

The legislation has the support of disability rights advocates.

“As CEO of the premier advocacy organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc of Florida praises Rep. Fischer and Sen. Bean’s effort to end organ transplant discrimination,” The Arc of Florida CEO Kirk Hall said.

“For decades,” Hall added, “people with intellectual and developmental disabilities have been denied access to these life-sustaining treatments. This legislation will help address the rampant discriminatory and arbitrary medical decision-making practices that create these barriers.”

Written By

A.G. Gancarski has been a working journalist for over two decades. Gancarski has been a correspondent for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. In 2018, he was a finalist for an Association of Alternative Newsweeklies "best political column." He can be reached at a.g.gancarski@gmail.com.

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