Veterans would be able to receive organ donations from non-veterans, under a measure that cleared the House Nov. 7. The bill, H.R. 1133, also would allow veterans to receive the organ donations at any health-care facility, whether or not it is operated by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, sponsored the legislation in response to a case of a veteran in his district who needed a kidney transplant. The veteran, Charles Nelson of Leander, Texas, had a suitable donor — his son. However, VA regulations barred the donation. Nelson and his family were compelled to raise funds in order to pay for the surgery that ultimately saved his life.
“For far too long, VA has put bureaucracy over the very people they should be helping,” Carter said. “My legislation makes sure that no other veteran experiences what Charles Nelson experienced.”