Organ transplant anti-discrimination bill advances

TRENTON – Assembly lawmakers released legislation from committee that prohibits organ transplant discrimination on the basis of developmental disabilities.

The bill, A2390, would prohibit discrimination against a prospective organ transplant recipient solely on the basis of a physical or mental disability, according to the bill. The proposal was released unanimously from the Assembly Human Services Committee today.

Passage of the proposal, which is sponsored by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieti Huttle, (D-37), Englewood, is long overdue, argued the bill’s proponents.

“Individuals with disabilities continue to be denied access … to life-saving transplants,” said Tom Baffuto, executive director of The Arc of New Jersey.

Baffuto said the legislation “will be a significant step in securing equal access” to health care services for all residents.

The bill was voted on following little debate from lawmakers.

The committee also released several other proposals:

A740, would establish a grant program in the Department of Community Affairs to provide funding to youth mentoring programs in the state.

AJR55, would designate January of each year as Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

AJR56, would designate Jan. 11 of each year as Human Trafficking Awareness Day.