Monday, May 16, 2005

When Rules Get In The Way of Right

It seems there's a death-row inmate in Fort Wayne who is slated to die by lethal injection on May 25th, but he's making appeals right now to postpone the execution. His sister is a diabetic newly diagnosed with steatohepatitis and needs a liver transplant soon. The inmate, covicted of killing an elderly woman and setting her house on fire, wants to give his liver to his sister. Easy enough, right?

It gets messy though, because the lethal injection may poison the organs and make them unusable. Electrocution is not legal in the state, but he says he'd do it if his sister could then get his liver. There is an option to give her half of his liver, and then let him heal up until he's well enough to be executed. Of course, it would be better for his sister to get the whole thing, but he would die if it was removed, and that's not legal either. And who would operate on a perfectly healthy person and remove his entire liver anyway? I'm no ethicist, but I'm betting physicians wouldn't be lining up for that one. (Ok, well some might...)

I don't know any good reason why they shouldn't change a rule or two to allow prisoners to donate their organs, there's got to be some way to do it - especially if the prisoner agrees.

Of course, someone else probably has an equally good reason why we should not let him do it. I'd like to hear it, though.

Here's one of the stories about it.
Posted by HypnoKitten at 5:57 PM

Blogger mamalife, at 6:09 PM  

Wow, that's an amazing story. I suppose an argument against breaking the rules to allow this to happen might be that would this then possibly open the door to death row inmates or prisoners in general were pressured into giving their organs against their will?? I personally however, think they ought to find a way to allow him to donate his liver to his sister. But, beauracracy being what it is... I bet it won't happen.

Blogger HypnoKitten, at 8:35 PM  

I don't know - I have to wonder how can it not happen. I think the best way to fix this type of problem is to talk about it. The more people who are aware, the more stink we'll raise, and the elected will be forced to do something. Dang, at least let prisoners be electrocuted if they want to. How hard would that be?

Blogger HypnoKitten, at 8:39 PM  

If he was willing to donate organs, he could give a lot more than just his liver. He might try that angle. How many people could he save and make the effort to pay back society for the person he killed?

Anonymous djsloan/Houston, at 7:28 AM  

Later stories revealed he had hepatitis and, in the words of the sister's transplant surgeon, "Wasn't a good donor candidate."

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