Illinois Gov. Signs Into Law Measure That Would Allow HIV-Positive Residents to Donate Organs to Other HIV-Positive People
July 16, 2004
Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) on Thursday signed into law a bill (HB 3857) that makes the state the first in the country to allow HIV-positive people to donate organs to other people living with HIV, the AP/Chicago Tribune reports (Lannan, AP/Chicago Tribune, 7/15). The measure was approved by the state House in March and the state Senate in May (Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report, 5/7). Under current federal guidelines established by HHS and coordinated by the United Network for Organ Sharing, organs from HIV-positive patients are discarded to prevent them from being transplanted to uninfected patients (AP/Chicago Tribune, 7/15). The new bill can "save the lives" of HIV-positive people waiting for transplants, who under the federal regulations have been barred from receiving transplants from other HIV-positive people, state Rep. Larry McKeon (D) said. However, details on implementation and legal details are still unclear, according to the New York Times. Federal authorities have questioned whether the legislation violates provisions of the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984. However, although lawyers for Blagojevich said that state doctors may need to seek variances to federal regulations in order to perform HIV-positive organ transplants, Blagojevich spokesperson Abby Ottenhoff said the state believes it can proceed as planned with the law. "We're hopeful that by removing an obstacle in Illinois, they'll be able to make changes at the federal level," Ottenhoff said. Advocates of the legislation said the law will require the creation of a separate organ donor pool in the state for HIV-positive patients. All organ donations will continue to be screened for infection, disease and other problems, according to the Times. In addition, advocates of the law say that other states will be prompted to enact similar laws and perhaps prompt change at the federal level, according to the Times.
Life Expectancies Lower Than 40 Years in African Countries Hardest Hit by HIV/AIDS, UNDP Report Says
This article was provided by Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. It is a part of the publication Kaiser Daily HIV/AIDS Report. Visit the Kaiser Family Foundation's website to find out more about their activities, publications and services.