The opportunity for people with disabilities to have organ transplants is being debated across the nation, following several highly publicized decisions recently that denied requests for transplants.
One of the main examples involves three-year-old Amelia Rivera from New Jersey who was denied a kidney transplant because of her intellectual disability. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia eventually apologized on how the case was handled and is working with the family to evaluate Amelia’s potential for a transplant where her mother would donate a kidney
Another example involves 23-year-old Paul Corby of Pottsville, Penn., who was turned down for a heart transplant because of psychiatric issues and autism. His mother is determined to fight that decision and has contacted a few other hospitals about the possibility of getting on their transplant lists.
Meanwhile, the New Jersey legislature is considering a bill based on Amelia’s experiences that would prohibit discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient solely on the basis of a mental or physical disability. The bill, however, would permit a disability to be taken into consideration to the extent that it may medically impact the transplant.
Read Claim: Heart Transplant Denied Due To Man’s Autism for more details on these cases and factors affecting transplant decisions, such as the limited number of organs available and the potential for a successful transplant. Last year, 331 people in the nation died while waiting for heart transplants because there are not enough donated organs to meet the need.
To help meet the need for more organs, Texans can register online to be an organ, tissue and eye donor on the state’s official registry.