A bill that limits decisions physicians and healthcare facilities can make with regard to the organ transplant list and the COVID-19 vaccine was a point of contention in the Georgia legislature this week.
The bill, sponsored by State Representatives Joseph Gullett, Mitchell Scoggins, Marcus Wiedower, Karen Mathiak, and David Clark passed narrowly – for Georgia House standards – on Monday.
Specifically, the bill seeks to do the following:
- Define what ‘Covid-19’ is under the law and ‘vaccine status’ as it relates to this code section. In the bill, vaccine status is ‘whether or not an individual has received a specific vaccination or series of vaccinations for COVID-19.’
- Prohibit the consideration of an individual’s vaccine status in:
- Considering if the person is eligible for an anatomical gift or organ transplant
- Denying medical services or other services related to the organ transplant
- Refusing to refer the individual for transplant services
- Refusing to place the individual on an organ transplant waiting list
- Placing an individual at a lower priority position
You can read the bill in its entirety here.
The bill passed in a vote of 98-71.
There were two crossover votes with Democrats Dexter Sharper and Patty Marie Stinson voting YES. Otherwise, Republicans votes YES and Democrats voted NO.
Representatives Soo Hong (R), Derrick Jackson (D), Michael Smith (D), and Don Parsons (R) were present but did not vote. Hong is one of the Governor’s floor leaders.
The bill now heads to the Senate for consideration. The last day of the 2024 legislative session is March 28.