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Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn introduces bill for research on organ transplants

Bipartisan legislation by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Muskogee, would lift a longtime ban on research about organ transplants between people with HIV.
by Chris Casteel Modified: February 14, 2013 at 7:56 pm •  Published: February 15, 2013
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WASHINGTON NEWS

Coburn offers transplant bill

Sen. Tom Coburn introduced bipartisan legislation on Thursday to allow federal research on organ transplants between people with HIV.

Coburn, R-Muskogee, said that federal law since 1988 has banned research on the feasibility of such transplants. He and Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., introduced the bill, with Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., to lift the ban.

“This legislation will allow those infected with HIV greater hope in obtaining organ donations by lifting the federal ban on research and allowing sound science to explore organ exchanges between HIV-positive donors and HIV-positive recipients,” Coburn said.

“Our scientific understanding of AIDS is much better than when this research ban was established. Those infected with HIV are now living much longer and, as a consequence, are suffering more kidney and liver failures. If research shows positive results, HIV-positive patients will have an increased pool of donors.”

Allowing organ transplants between HIV-positive patients could increase the organ donation pool by 500 to 600 donors a year and save hundreds of lives, according to a news release citing a study by the American Journal of Transplantation.

“This legislation would offer hope to thousands of HIV-positive patients by allowing researchers to determine safe and effective ways to transplant these organs and save lives,” Boxer said.

Chris Casteel, Washington Bureau

by Chris Casteel
Washington Bureau
Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. After covering the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City, he moved to Washington in 1990, where...
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