President signs bill on organ transplant research in HIV patients
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Thursday signed a bill co-authored by Sen. Tom Coburn to allow federal research on organ donations between people infected by HIV.
Obama said the transplants — and even research on them — have been illegal for decades but that the policy has become outdated.
“The potential for successful organ transplants between people living with HIV has become more of a possibility. The HOPE Act lifts the research ban, and, in time, it could lead to lifesaving organ donations for people living with HIV while ensuring the safety of the organ transplant process and strengthening the national supply of organs for all who need them.”
The bill by Coburn, R-Muskogee, and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., had broad bipartisan support and was easily approved in both houses.
“I applaud the president for signing this important piece of bipartisan legislation into law and am hopeful it produces encouraging results for HIV-positive individuals,” Coburn said.
According to bill sponsors, a study published in the American Journal of Transplantation concluded that allowing organ transplants between HIV-infected people could increase the organ donation pool by 500 to 600 donors a year.
Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau