Saturday, March 18, 2006

Organs from death row inmates?

In an article published by the Philadelphia Inquirer on March 15th, Claude Lewis suggests that an inmate facing a death sentence be allowed to donate a major organ in exchange for a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

Mr. Lewis says his plan could yield hundreds of organs. He's probably right. But it's extremely unlikely his plan will ever be implemented. The legal hurdles are just too high.

As Mr. Lewis eloquently writes, "it is no small irony that while thousands of Americans die needlessly each year because they lack the requisite organs, others go to their deaths carrying off healthy organs needed to sustain life." This situation is not, of course, confined to prisons. Americans bury or cremate about 20,000 transplantable organs every year.

LifeSharers is trying to stop this waste, by giving people a good reason to donate their organs when they die -- a better chance of getting a transplant if they ever need one to live. If the United Network for Organ Sharing, which runs the national organ allocation system, adopted the LifeSharers approach it could yield about 20,000 organs every year.

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Marsha said...

I've heard that in some countries that when you die your organs will be harvested unless you state you don't want that to happen ahead of time.

TC said...

Yes, and that's the way it should be here.