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State of Rhode Island General Assembly
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General Assembly OKs bill protecting organ donors from losing life insurance, disability insurance income
STATE HOUSE — The General Assembly today passed legislation introduced by House Majority Floor Manager John G. Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Tiverton) and Sen. Melissa A. Murray (D-Dist. 24, Woonsocket, North Smithfield) that would protect organ donors from unfair discrimination as it pertains to insurance and disability income.
“There are few acts more noble than donating an organ,” said Representative Edwards. “To be penalized for such an altruistic act is not only unconscionable, it is absurd. Decisions on insurance coverage should be made based on sound actuarial practices, not a unilateral decision to discriminate against those who are making noble sacrifices. This bill will protect more than just organ donors. It will ultimately protect those who receive those organs as well by encouraging more people to donate.”
The bill (
) would prohibit insurers from denying life, disability insurance and long-term care disability insurance solely on the basis of the individual’s status as a living donor.
“Those individuals who have selflessly donated all or part of an organ or bone marrow should not be denied coverage for giving the gift of life to others,” said Senator Murray. “Studies have shown that many kidney donors, for instance, have difficulty changing or initiating insurance — particularly life insurance. This is a practice that could make potential donors reluctant to donate. This bill would stop the practice and offer them protections.”
The measure now moves to the governor’s office.
For more information, contact:
State House Room 20
Providence, RI 02903
Lt. Governor's Office
Secretary of State
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