Death Row Inmates Donating Their Organs is Disturbing; a Transplant Group Believes

This baffles me… The only reasonable thing I can see in this argument is that it will give prisons and the government more incentive to go ahead with executions to obtain the organs. Who is going to question it, after all? They are just prisoners. Ugh, who can think like that?! Most of the people in prison are not in there for rape or murder but drugs! Thus, most the people in there, should NOT be in there so we can have room for the pedophiles and killers whom actually pose a threat to society.

One thing I would like to note, though, is before we lock people away for life for murders or anything else, they need to be damn sure they have the correct person! Not only does it leave the real problem still at large, but it also is punishing an innocent soul. If this guy actually did the crimes they claim he did, then I really have no interest in him. But if unproven, without a doubt, then how can I or anyone else damn a person to death or life in prison unless we know FOR SURE we are right, with NO doubt?

I think anyone who donates their organs after they’re gone is a blessing. However, because the prison is an industry looking for death and money, I can’t help but agree that it’s a bad idea and that these prisoners will be targeted, and sent to their deaths first.

Story Below:

The organization that coordinates transplants across the United States said Thursday that an offer by a death row inmate to donate his organs — which led Ohio’s governor to delay his execution — is “ethically troubling.”

“Allowing condemned prisoners to donate organs could provide an inappropriate incentive to execute prisoners and could lead to significant human rights violations,” said Alexandra Glazier, head of the ethic committee for the United Network for Organ Sharing.

“Any possibility that particular groups or individuals could receive death sentences to provide transplantable organs to the public would be completely objectionable,” she said in a statement.

Convicted child killer and rapist Ronald Phillips was one day away from a lethal injection when Gov. John Kasich postponed the execution until July 2 so he could study the feasibility of organ donation.

After exhausting his appeals — including a challenge to the state’s plan to use an untested drug cocktail to kill him — the 40-year-old Phillips made the surprise request to give away his organs after his death to sick relatives and other members of the public.

State prison officials shot down the request, but in an unexpected move, Kasich reversed course Wednesday and said he wants to study the request by Phillips, who was convicted of raping and beating to death his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter in 1993.

“I realize this is a bit of uncharted territory for Ohio, but if another life can be saved by his willingness to donate his organs and tissues then we should allow for that to happen,” the first-term Republican said in a statement.

Phillips’ lawyer, Tim Sweeney, said when he gave his condemned client the news of the seven-month reprieve his reaction was: “God is good.”

“Our client was very grateful the governor is going to give him time to explore this,” Sweeney said.

“He’ll have 230 more days of life and that’s a very special thing. Hopefully he’ll have the opportunity to do some good with that time if he’s allowed to donate his organs.”

Phillips isn’t the first death-row inmate to make the request. Christian Longo, facing execution for the murder of his wife and three children, asked to do the same two years ago and was turned down by authorities in Oregon.

UNOS said allowing such donations would be an ethical minefield.

Since the method of execution might be the actual organ donation it would effectively make the surgeon the executioner.

“Organ donation from condemned prisoners also raises significant ethical issues about the ability of prisoners to provide coercion-free consent,” Glazier said.

“With ‘nothing to lose,’ the concept of coercion-free informed consent might not seem ethically important.  But it is in fact critical.  Without informed consent, this just further highlights the significant concern that the need for organs could influence death sentencing.

“For these reasons, taking organs from a condemned prisoner is not generally seen as an ethically appropriate way for the U.S. to expand the availability of organs for transplantation.”

But Sally Satel, a psychiatrist who is a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, said a donation policy would be “humane” — both for the thousands of people on waiting lists for organs and for killers who are trying to make amends.

“Every organ helps,” she said.

Satel scoffed at the notion that the possibility of a post-execution donation would be an incentive for juries and judges to impose capital punishment.

“It’s an absurd and morbid fantasy,” she said. “This is just the kind of outlandish scare tactic people use when they have no rational arguments against the issue.”

Even before the organ-donation issue arose, Phillips’ scheduled execution had drawn national attention because Ohio planned to use a new combination of drugs for the lethal injection: the sedative midazolam and the painkiller hydromorphone.

Ohio is one of several states that have had to tinker with their execution protocols because the commonly used drug pentobarbital is in short supply after the manufacturer banned its sale to prisons for executions.

At a Nov. 1 hearing to decide whether the new drugs could be used, Phillips told a judge via video hookup that he had a lifelong fear of needles and that prison doctors couldn’t find veins in his arm during a checkup two weeks earlier.

“I guess the Lord hid my veins from them,” Phillips said.

The court last week declined to block the new execution method and hours later, Kasich denied a request for executive clemency.

Original Link HERE

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