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Rep. Edwards Announces Passage of Bill Prohibiting Discrimination Against Transplant Recipients

H.B. 332 provides protections for disabled individuals on the transplant list
January 25, 2018
Jay Edwards News

COLUMBUS—State Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) announced the passage of legislation that prohibits discriminating against disabled individuals for the purpose of being placed on the organ and tissue transplant list.

“The passage of House Bill 332 will ensure all Ohioans have equal access to life-saving medical procedures,” Edwards said. “I proudly supported House Bill 332 and hope to continue this dialogue to reduce discrimination and expand access to quality healthcare.”

While various medical criteria, including the ability to follow a post-procedure regimen, must be considered in order to be placed on the transplant list, transplant teams are given their own discretion in deciding how to account for disabled individuals. This has resulted in inherent bias against patients with intellectual disabilities because some medical professionals believe it would significantly reduce their quality of life, making it harder for them to recuperate after the surgery.

However, according to committee testimony from the director of The Ohio State University Nisonger Center, Marc J. Tassé, studies show that individuals with an intellectual disability have the same survival rate as patients without a disability following a transplant surgery.

If enacted into law, Ohio would become the sixth state to approve such legislation, sending a message to Ohioans with disabilities that the state will not tolerate discrimination when it comes to needing an organ or tissue transplant.

House Bill 332 was sponsored by State Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) and now goes to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.