Legislation seeks to promote and protect living organ donors from discrimination
WASHINGTON, DC - The American Society of Transplantation (AST), the largest organization of transplantation professionals in North America, applauds the introduction of the Living Donor Protection Act of 2016 by Senator Mark Kirk of Illinois, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Congressman Jerrold Nadler of New York, and Congressman Michael Burgess, MD of Texas.
The legislation seeks to:
Prohibit denial of coverage or increase in premiums of life or disability insurance for living organ donors;
Clarify organ donation surgery as qualifying as a serious health condition under FMLA; and
Update educational materials on the benefits of live donor transplantation and the process/outcomes of live donation.
The AST has worked closely with these lawmakers and their respective staffs to develop this important organ donor protection legislation. The promotion and protection of living donation is a top public policy priority for the AST. The AST’s Public Policy Committee and Board of Directors regularly advocate and educate Congress and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the importance of protecting and encouraging living organ donation.
"Living organ donation is an amazing act of human kindness and part of the miracle of transplantation," said AST President James S. Allan, MD, MBA. "The Living Donor Protection Act of 2016 supports the future of this form of organ donation by considering the special needs of the living donors and protecting their best interests while they are making this wonderful gift to another human being in need. The AST applauds Senators Kirk and Gillibrand and Congressmen Nadler and Burgess on their steadfast support of the transplant patient community and those wishing to donate a life saving donor organ."
The AST is working with healthcare providers and transplant patient stakeholder communities to garner bipartisan and bicameral support for this important legislation. The AST’s Public Policy Committee Co-Chairs and Organ Transplant Program Directors, Kenneth Newell, MD, from Emory University and Roslyn Mannon, MD, from the University of Alabama Birmingham, said, "We are grateful for the leadership of lawmakers Kirk, Gillibrand, Nadler, and Burgess to promote and protect living organ donation."
The AST will continue to work with Congressional leaders and the organ transplant community to advance and pass this important legislation.