Organ Transplant Discrimination Against People with Disabilities
BACKGROUND AND SCOPE:
Despite the growing understanding that disability is a normal part of the human experience, the lives of persons with disabilities continue to be devalued in medical decision-making. Negative biases and inaccurate assumptions about the quality of life of a person with a disability are pervasive in U.S. society and can result in the devaluation and disparate treatment of people with disabilities, and in the medical context, these biases can have serious and even deadly consequences. In this series of reports on bioethics, the National Council on Disability will explore how people with disabilities are impacted by biases and assumptions in some of the most critical healthcare issues we face, including:
- Organ transplantation – People with disabilities are often denied equal access to organ transplants solely on the basis of their disability. This report examines the reasons for this and its impact. Additionally, the report explores how people with disabilities and their families can be pressured into organ donation.