State Representative Carlos González Files Bill to Allow Incarcerated Individuals to Participate in Bone Marrow and Organ Donation
Boston, MA.- Hispanics and African Americans have higher rates of diabetes and heart disease. Hispanic men and women have a chronic liver disease rate that is twice that of the white population, and they are almost twice as likely to die from chronic liver disease as compared to the white population.
These comorbidities are known to put people of color at risk for organ failures. Language barriers also negatively affect patient access to health care as well as adequate health information.
State Representative Carlos González has filed a bill, HD3822 – An Act to establish a volunteer bone marrow and organ donation program for our incarcerated citizens.
The voluntary program for incarcerated individuals encourages them to donate bone marrow or an organ and be rewarded with time off of their sentence. “They can choose to save the life of their mother, father, brother, sister, child or friend if they volunteer as part of the program”, stated Representative Gonzalez.
A committee would be established and provide oversight and regulations of the program and allow an incarcerated individual to gain between 60 to 365 days of time reduced from their sentence for choosing to help someone else in need.
Broadening the pool of potential donors is an effective way to increase the likelihood that family members and friends will receive life-saving treatment. Within one’s own family, the chances of finding a match are approximately 30%. Racial disparities also exist. More than two out of three white people find a bone marrow match, whereas most people of color have less than a 50% chance of finding a match. Those who require transplants are disproportionately people of color.
Representative Carlos Gonzalez stated, “I’ve put more effort into this bill after visiting a friend, who I consider a brother, in the hospital who is required to have dialysis 3 to 4 times a week while he awaits a kidney transplant. He’s a father of three children, and he in his stage 4 of kidney failure. Unless he can obtain a kidney at 40 years old, life expectancy is about 10.4 years for men and 9.1 years for women. I love my friend and I’m praying through this legislation we can extend the chances of life.”
“This bill facilitates a reduction in sentence for any incarcerated individual who voluntarily chooses to help another person in this way, while increasing the likelihood that someone else will receive the treatment that they need”, Representative Gonzalez added.
Be the first to comment