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Pa. Lawmaker Wants To Give Disabled Equal Access to Organ Transplants

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- A state lawmaker from Philadelphia has introduced legislation to end discrimination against people with disabilities who are in need of organ transplants.

The bill is sponsored by Rep. John Sabatina (D-Phila., third from left in photo).

"Nearly twenty years ago the Americans With Disabilities Act was passed, and yet individuals with disabilities continue to be denied access to lifesaving organ transplants," he said today.

Sabatina's bill to end that discrimination has been dubbed "Paul's Law," after Paul Corby, an autistic man from Schuylkill County (second from right in photo) whose mother, Karen Corby, says he was diagnosed with a condition that makes his heart less able to pump blood.

"That was terrifying in itself," Mrs. Corby (at lectern in photo) said today in Harrisburg.  "But to find out that he is not a candidate for a heart transplant -– which is the only cure -– because he's autistic, is the most terrifying thing a parent can go through."

The sponsor says the bill is modeled after similar legislation in New Jersey and California.

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