Chicago, IL -
The Illinois legislature has approved legislation that would make the state the first to let people with HIV donate organs to others with the virus.
Currently throughout the country organs infected with HIV are disposed of so they won’t be transplanted. But, some doctors say those organs could help prolong the lives of HIV patients.
"The original law was actually put in place for a very good reason," said Dr. Robert Murphy, a professor of infectious disease at Northwestern University. "But nobody thought through the fact that an HIV person might actually benefit from the infected organ."
Rep. Larry McKeon, D-Chicago, who is HIV-positive, developed the bill after talking with Murphy during a routine doctor's visit.
A spokesperson for Gov Rod Blagojevich said he hasn’t had a chance to look at the bill closely enough to decide whether he will sign it.
The state would still have to work with the United Network for Organ Sharing — the organization that coordinates the nation’s organ transplant system — to change rules that prohibit such procedures.