The Michigan House has overwhelmingly approved Rep. Bronna Kahle’s legislation prohibiting discrimination in the organ transplant process.
Kahle, who chairs the House Health Policy Committee, said the plan prohibits anyone who performs an organ transplant from refusing to transplant an organ into an individual based solely on his or her disability. Further, the bill prohibits lowering an individual’s priority on the organ transplant waiting list simply because they are disabled.
“All persons have equal value. Currently, our state does not prohibit an individual from being denied a transplant surgery solely based on their physical or mental disability,” Kahle said during her committee testimony in May. “We cannot wait for a catastrophic emergency to protect its citizens with disabilities from discrimination, especially when the remedy could come too late.”
Federal law bans organ transplant discrimination based on the presence of a disability, but there sadly are still instances where individuals are denied a transplant surgery or referrals to transplant centers because of confusion in the law. States are therefore enacting their own laws to address this issue. Michigan does not currently prohibit an individual from being denied a transplant surgery solely based on their physical or mental disability. Kahle’s legislation would ensure the law explicitly states that discrimination is prohibited.
House Bill 4762 now moves to be considered by the state Senate.
State Rep. Bronna Kahle, of Adrian, today joined the majority of her legislative colleagues in approving the Unlock Michigan citizens’ initiative, repealing the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act that Gov. Whitmer used to declare an extended state of emergency during the COVID-19 pandemic.