Rep. Rick Williams to Introduce Organ Transplant Antidiscrimination Legislation

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019

State Representative Rick Williams (R-Milledgeville) today announced that he will introduce legislation, Gracie’s Law, during the 2020 legislative session to prohibit discrimination against a potential organ transplant recipient based solely on a physical or mental disability.

“Even with federal protections in place, children and adults with disabilities continue to face an unfounded amount discrimination by the medical community,” said Rep. Williams. “For far too long, people with disabilities have been denied organ transplants based on misconceptions about their quality of life, which consequently impacts their health care. This legislation seeks to change that stigma and ultimately save lives.”

Inspired by Gracie Joy Nobles, a Georgia child with Down syndrome, Gracie’s Law would help safeguard against organ transplant discrimination for children and adults living with disabilities. Under this legislation, individuals who are candidates for an anatomical gift would not be deemed ineligible or denied insurance coverage solely based on the individual’s physical or mental disability, except to the extent that the disability has been found by a physician or surgeon to be medically significant to the provision of the anatomical gift. Additionally, if an individual cannot independently meet medical requirements after a transplant operation but has an adequate support system to assist with these requirements, the individual would not be deemed ineligible for the transplant.