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Every day twenty- two people die waiting for an organ donation. An inmate’s request to donate organs should not be denied but accepted to reduce this number. Death row inmates should be allowed to donate their organs to help reduce the number of people waiting for a donation on the transplant list.

Allowing inmates to donate organs gives them an outlet to try and repay society for their crimes. “Since 2011, there have been 208 inmates executed on death row. In the past sixteen years, over 942 people have been executed” (D.P.I.Cc 1). This means over 4,710 major organs were wasted instead of being used to save someone’s life. “There are currently 118,542 people waiting on the UNOS transplant list, waiting for a major organ donation.” (UNOS 1). There are a whole lot of criteria and standards that must be met to qualify for a position on the UNOS list. Even with all these restrictions and qualifications to make it on this list, it is still significantly lengthy. With this large amount of people waiting for organs, the chances of finding a donor are greater if inmate’s requests to donate are granted. Allowing inmates to donate organs can help the people who are on this list and potentially save many lives.

However, there are controversial arguments against this issue as well. According to Wesley Smith, “allowing inmates to donate their organs would raise the issue of the organs becoming more important than the people they belong to” (Smith 2). He believes prosecutors will push for the death row penalty over life in prison because of organ harvests. However, in every state where the death penalty is legal, there are very strict requirements set in place to prevent this from happening. Smith also raised the issue of the inmate possibly not being a match for someone who needs an organ donation. However, over 120,000 people are waiting for an organ donation with a new person added every 10 minutes. With this many people on the list, there is a .0008 % chance that the inmate wouldn’t be a match for someone. This also means there is a 99.9992 % chance that one life could be saved with every inmate who can donate.

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Inmates across the country send in multiple cases asking to donate their organs. There was a case a couple of years ago that left many Americans at a loss for words. In 2001 Christian Longo murdered his wife and three kids. It wasn’t until 2011 that he was tried for his crimes. Christian shook America with his controversial story, to the point where there is now a movie explaining the truth of his situation. Once in prison, Christian sent multiple letters from his cell campaigning for permission to attempt to repay society by donating his organs. In his letter, Christian explained, “Guilt is a pervasive part of my daily existence, the reality that all my frequent nightmares are made from. Why go out and waste your organs when you have the potential to go out and save 6-12 lives? There is no way to atone for my crimes, but I believe that a profound benefit to society can come from my circumstances.” (Longo 1) In 2011 Christian’s proposal to drop all appeals in exchange for the permission to donate his organs was denied.

There was also a case in Ohio where an inmate wanted to donate his organs specifically to his mother and his sister. Ronald Phillips was convicted of raping and beating to death his girlfriend’s three-year-old daughter. The Governor of Ohio has delayed Ronald’s execution so he can look into his last-minute request to donate his organs. He asked to be allowed to donate his organs to sick relatives or a member of the public, but state correctional officials quickly turned him down, saying it was logistically impossible. “Ronald asked specifically to donate his heart to his mother, who had a serious heart condition, and his kidney to his sister, who had a kidney disease. Phillips’ request was denied due to lack of time before the execution, as well as logistical and security issues at having the execution at an outside medical facility” (Wilde 1). One small injustice like Ron’s isn’t the fish we need to fry. The U.S. prison system suffers from many issues, like the fact that it has grown so large, it doesn’t matter if what it’s doing is correct or morally right, but instead, it does what is the cheaper option to save the prison as much money as it possibly can, even if it means taking the chance of someone dying due to the lack of possible organ donations that they could receive from death row inmates.

There are many good and bad things associated with the controversial topic of organ donation. However, with a person dying every ten minutes, no one should be turned away and denied the opportunity to donate their organs. Even if the person wanting to donate is a convicted killer they should still be able to try and help out the 120,000 people hoping for someone to donate their organs so they can have a better life. The States should not be judgmental about who or where the organs are coming from, but be accepting and filled with joy at the opportunity to help save a person who is in need.  

#heathcare #medical #medicalcare #pharmaceuticals #healthcareprofessional #nurses #healthprofessionals

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