Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Congresswoman Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), joined by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR), introduced the Living Donor Protection Act to protect the rights of living organ donors.
The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) does not specify that living organ donors can take unpaid leave to recover from their donation and does not guarantee that donors will have a job waiting for them after surgery. Further, according to a 2007 study in the American Journal of Transplantation, as many as 11% of living organ donors experience difficulty securing or paying for insurance after their procedures because of discriminatory practices.
The Living Donor Protection Act would protect living organ donors and promote organ donation in three easy, low-cost ways:
- Prohibits life, disability, and long-term care insurance companies from denying or limiting coverage and from charging higher premiums for living organ donors;
- Clarifies that living organ donors may use FMLA time to recover from the surgeries and procedures involved in their donation; and
- Directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to update their materials on live organ donation to reflect these new protections and encourage more individuals to consider donating an organ.
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