Press release

American Kidney Fund Commends Arkansas Governor, General Assembly for Enacting Lilia's Law

SB 155 will uphold the rights of qualified organ transplant candidates who have a disability

ROCKVILLE, Md. (April 22, 2021)  — The American Kidney Fund (AKF) applauds Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson for signing SB 155, also known as Lilia's Law, into law. The law prohibits discrimination against potential organ transplant recipients based solely on their physical, developmental or intellectual disability.

AKF worked with bill sponsor Senator Breanne Davis (16th District) and is thankful for her commitment to end discriminatory practices that prevented Arkansans with disabilities from accessing lifesaving organ transplantation. Lilia's Law will uphold and enforce rights established in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Discrimination for transplant candidates with disabilities can happen at any point during the transplant evaluation process, including when someone is first referred for evaluation at a transplant center and before they are listed as a candidate for transplant on the transplant waiting list.

"The American Kidney Fund believes that everyone who is qualified and healthy enough to receive an organ transplant should be able to access that treatment option — usually the best treatment option for people with kidney failure because it increases the chances of living a longer, healthier life," said LaVarne A. Burton, AKF President and CEO. "No one should be discriminated against because of their disability status when seeking an organ transplant. All patients who need to receive a kidney or other organ should have access to the same quality of treatment and care."

Lila's Law will ensure that a qualified individual's inability to independently comply with post-transplant medical requirements will not hinder their ability to access transplantation if they have the necessary support network to assist with compliance. Furthermore, this bill requires that health care providers make policies, practices and procedures accessible to qualified recipients with disabilities.

With an A grade on AKF's 2021 State of the States: Living Donor Protection Report Card, Arkansas is already a leader in the nation when it comes to making more organ transplants possible. AKF is grateful to Senator Davis and others in the Arkansas General Assembly for prioritizing transplant issues and providing protections for transplant recipients and living organ donors.

About the American Kidney Fund

The American Kidney Fund (AKF) fights kidney disease on all fronts as the nonprofit with the greatest direct impact on people with kidney disease. AKF works on behalf of 1 in 7 Americans living with kidney disease, and the millions more at risk, with an unmatched scope of programs that support people wherever they are in their fight against kidney disease—from prevention through transplant. AKF fights for kidney health for all through programs that address early detection, disease management, financial assistance, clinical research, innovation and advocacy. AKF is one of the nation’s top-rated nonprofits, investing 97 cents of every donated dollar in programs, and holds the highest 4-Star rating from Charity Navigator for 21 consecutive years and the Platinum Seal of Transparency from Candid, formerly known as GuideStar. 

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