Del. Living Donor Protection Act Becomes Law
Delawareans who have donated an organ or tissue will be protected from discrimination by insurance companies, under a bill signed by Governor John Carney.
“The Delaware General Assembly has done important work attempting to prevent discriminatory practices and this bill further protects Delawareans,” State Senator Ernie Lopez, R-Lewes said. “Having to pay a higher rate for or even being denied insurance coverage because of one’s status as a living organ donor is wrong. I am proud of the bipartisan collaboration and unanimous support for SB 218, and I am pleased Governor Carney signed the legislation into law here in Sussex County.”
Lopez was the prime sponsor of the bill, SB 218, which gained bipartisan sponsorship. The signing ceremony took place at Beebe Healthcare’s new specialty surgical hospital.
Delaware joins at least 20 other states, including Maryland, that have similar statutes.
“Discrimination comes in all forms, but the idea that an insurance company could discriminate against a
person who has donated an organ to save another person’s life is wrong, and is why we need this new
law,” House Speaker Pete Schwartzkopf, D-Rehoboth Beach said. “As a living organ donor, I’m aware of the shortage of people signed up to donate. We need to be doing everything we can to encourage more people to be organ donors, not put up barriers. This law will tear down one of those barriers.”
“There is a large gap between those needing transplants and the organs and tissues available to them,” State Representative Steve Smyk, R- Milton, Lewes said. “According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, there are currently more than 106,000 people in need of a lifesaving organ transplant. This number does not include those requiring less dire, but still important, donations. I am proud to be a part of this bipartisan initiative to help bridge this critical shortfall.”
“More than 100,000 people are on the national transplant waiting list. Seventeen people die each day
waiting for a transplant. We must recognize those stark facts to understand why this law is so necessary,” Representative Sherry Dorsey Walker, D-Wilmington stated. “We must find ways to encourage more people to sign up to be an organ donor, not penalize those who make this selfless decision. It is unconscionable that insurance companies could discriminate against a living organ donor, and I am proud to support this legislation to end this practice and protect people who decide to donate their organs to save lives.”