SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – Wednesday, New Mexico moved one step closer to preventing healthcare discrimination in the state. Lawmakers voted in favor of “Glory’s Law,” named after a local child who has Down Syndrome and heart-related health issues.
Senate bill 71, sponsored by both Democratic and Republican legislators, aims to ban discrimination against disabled individuals in need of organ transplants. The bill prohibits organ procurement organizations, hospitals, transplant hospital, physicians, and insurance companies from denying organ transplant care solely on the basis of a person’s disability.
Bill co-sponsor Sen. Craig W. Brandt (R-Sandoval) told the House Health and Human Services Committee that the bill has profound implications, even though New Mexico hasn’t seen much organ donation-based discrimination yet. “We have seen this problem [of discrimination] in other states, especially with the Down Syndrome Community,” he said. The bill simply ensures that doesn’t happen in New Mexico, he added.
The idea behind the bill isn’t new. Last year, lawmakers tried to pass a version of the bill, but it stalled out, despite finding support. Last year, the bill “simply ran out of time,” Brandt said.
This year, the bill has already made it through the Senate. And Wednesday, March 1, it passed the House Health and Human Services Committee with unanimous approval. Next, it will be debated in the House Judiciary Committee.