Sweeney: Legislation would protect developmentally disabled who need organ transplants

TRENTON – The Senate president said he will introduce legislation to protect developmentally disabled patients who need organ transplants.

Steve Sweeney, (D-3), West Deptford, said this afternoon he will introduce a bill in the immediate future that will ban hospitals in New Jersey from declining to do an organ transplant on someone simply because they have a developmental disability.

The legislation comes in the wake of an incident at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia where a family was allegedly told that their 3-year-old daughter would not be eligible for a kidney transplant because she is “mentally retarded”.

“There is no doubt that this story has highlighted a seriously overlooked issue in the country: Hospital policy regarding organ transplants for people with developmental disabilities,”  Sweeney said in a release. 

“People with developmental disabilities should not be treated as second-class citizens.  Their disabilities do not make them any less human or worthy of respect and common decency.   I will immediately be putting forward legislation that would prevent this kind of treatment from ever happening to someone who seeks care at a hospital in New Jersey.” 

Sweeney: Legislation would protect developmentally disabled who need organ transplants