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First Coast senator wants to end disability discrimination in organ donation

The bill would prohibit doctors and other entities from denying people organ transplants based on their disability.
Credit: AP
Sen. Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, closes on his drug bill during session Monday April 29, 2019, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon)

A senator from right here on the First Coast is advocating for the fair distribution of vital life-saving organs. 

Sen. Aaron Bean, who represents Nassau County and parts of Duval, filed a bill last year that would prohibit doctors and other entities from denying people organ transplants based on an individual’s disability.

The issue was originally reported on by Everitt Rosen of Fresh Take Florida, who says that twelve states already have such laws in place.

Many of those states have made the case that the practice is discriminatory. However, other lawmakers have concerns about the success rates of these procedures and the overall quality of life they provide. 

A 2004 survey, detailed in a report from the National Council on Disability, found that only 52% of people with disabilities who requested a referral to a specialist regarding an organ transplant actually received a referral. 

And 35% of those “for whom a transplant had been suggested” never even received an evaluation.

Bean's bill hopes to crack down on medical facilities that deny organ transplant services like evaluation, surgery and counseling to those diagnosed with disabilities. Read the full bill.

More than 113,000 people, including children, are currently the national transplant waiting list. For more info about organ donation resources, check out OrganDonor.gov.