Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 prohibits discrimination against the handicapped in any program receiving federal funds. With its implementing regulations, Section 504 may well apply to the selection of patients for medical treatments. This article examines patient selection for heart transplantation, in light of the Rehabilitation Act and its previous application in similar (but non-medical) contexts. With the growing need to allocate scarce medical resources comes a need to examine carefully the legal bounds for patient-selection procedures.
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Copyright © 1985 by the Dept. of Health Administration, Duke University