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.”