Reports Show Pervasive Disability Discrimination in Transplant Decisions

The video for this lesson contains time sensitive information. Developments in the project discussed in the video which occurred after the release date are not covered in the video or this curriculum. See “Follow-Up Assignments” below for a way of addressing this fact in your lesson plan.

Lesson title

Reports Show Pervasive Disability Discrimination in Transplant Decisions

Video title, link and release date

Reports Show Pervasive Disability Discrimination in Transplant Decisions, June 12, 2013

Video length

Three minutes, Twenty-five seconds

Grade level

High school


On March 18th, the Self-Advocacy Network released a report that exacts increased protection for people with disabilities in healthcare situations, specifically when doctors make organ transplant decisions.

The report responds to a number of surveys which indicate that health care providers have frequently declined to refer people with intellectual disabilities for organ transplants solely based on their disability status.

Acting in response to these surveys, as well as public outrage over the case of a three-year-old girl with a disability who was denied a transplant, the New Jersey Senate introduced a bill outlawing discrimination against people with disabilities in transplant decisions.

The report recommends that the federal government provides guidance to health care providers, highlighting that federal law clearly prohibits this kind of discrimination.

Review Questions

1. By discriminating against people with disabilities, which Act have some health care providers violated?


2. What events sparked the Self-Advocacy Network’s release of this new report?


3. Why did so many doctors presume that disability civil laws might not be applicable or relevant in these situations?


Freewriting “Journal” Prompt

What about this report do you have questions about?

What reasons do you think health care providers used to justify their decisions, which denied organ transplants to people with disabilities?

What do you want to know more about?

Will is the editor for the Galaxy Awareness and History pages as well as one of our pollsters. He is a sophomore at Seattle University majoring in philosophy. His home is La Crosse Wisconsin.