Quick Takes

Bill prohibiting discrimination for organ donation passes Senate

By: - May 25, 2023 6:25 pm
A man looking to his right, his arms folded on top of a cane.

Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, stands on the floor of the Alabama Senate on March 7, 2023. Legislators gathered Tuesday for the first day of the Alabama Legislature’s 2023 regular session. (Brian Lyman/Alabama Reflector)

The Alabama Senate Thursday approved a bill that would prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities who need organ transplants.

HB 122, sponsored by Rep. Debbie Wood, R-Valley, would ban organizations from placing people lower on a transplant list because of their disability.

“My colleague and my district House member that has worked very hard on this particular bill for many years, and we’re finally at that point, but the other thing I’d like to do is say thank you to a lot of different organizations and groups that had concerns concerning this bill, and were willing to sit down and work out their differences to where we could come together to be where we are today,” said Sen. Randy Price, R-Opelika, who carried the bill on the floor.

The legislation passed 30-0. It returns to the House of Representatives with amendments.

The bill would also require that healthcare providers and facilities and “an entity responsible for matching anatomical gift donors to potential recipients,” provide reasonable accommodations to a person with disabilities. 

Those groups are also not allowed to decline insurance coverage associated with the anatomical gift or organ transplant.

The bill allows a person to bring a civil suit against an individual or entity that may have broken the law. The amendment limited the civil action to “injunctive and other equitable relief.”

The amendment also replaces language that read “nothing in this act shall be construed as creating a right to compensatory or punitive damages against a covered entity” with “In an action under this section, the Court, in its discretion, may allow the prevailing party a reasonable attorney fee as part of the costs of the proceeding.”

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Jemma Stephenson
Jemma Stephenson

Jemma Stephenson covers education as a reporter for the Alabama Reflector. She previously worked at the Montgomery Advertiser and graduated from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.