Organ transplants

Printed in the Republican 2019

In September of 2018, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights received a complaint that an individual with intellectual disabilities was denied a heart transplant. A doctor at the University of North Carolina Health Care system claimed the person was not a good candidate due to their developmental learning disability and because the person was not independent.
The issue was resolved through negotiation by the three parties involved, with the end result of the patient being placed on an organ transplant list while UNC Health Care will change its policy on organ transplants. The director of the Civil Rights off for HHS, said, “Every life is precious and no one should be blocked from access to an organ transplant because of stereotypes about persons with disabilities. It is also against the law.”
However, UNC Healthcare asserts that it had not engaged in wrongdoing, stating that “UNC Health Care has not denied any patient access to transplant because of that individual’s disability status, nor was there any finding by OCR that we did so.”
According to the Washington Post, many organ transplant decisions are made by individual doctors. Oftentimes, people with disabilities are left off the transplant list because of how doctors view disabilities.

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