Monday, March 7, 2011

Does contradictory bleeding heart syndrome make someone incompatible as a writer?

If we could benefit from the death of a prisoner, would that make the death penalty ok?

This comment on feministe is what pissed me off.
“However, our prison system exists, and the death penalty is (unfortunately) not going away any time soon. Given that, prisoners on death row should have the option — the totally freely-made opinion, without any incentives on either end — to donate their organs after death. That, of course, requires counseling, and it requires that they not receive any benefit for organ donation. But there’s no reason not to allow people on death row the choice to donate.”

The above quote was inspired by the article by Christian Longo “Giving life after Death Row”

These people have a world of information at their finger tips and they couldn’t be bothered to look up what is needed before someone can become an organ donor.
Forget all the morality issues, or the structure that would have to be put in place for this to even WORK, just the fact that they stop someone’s heart makes this whole thing totally pointless.

So let’s start from the beginning. Slowly.
You can’t use a death sentenced prisoner as an organ donor because by the nature of the definition of the sentence they have to be fully dead for the sentence to be complete.
You need well perfused, healthy organs for harvesting and if the heart stops working for a sustained length of time (like long enough to pronounce someone dead) that is no longer valid.

You also need organs that will not transmit infectious diseases, and with infectious disease rates up to 3x higher than general populations, many prisoners will not pass that test.

You also need the patient’s family’s permission, and I cannot imagine as a family member of a person about to be killed by the state saying “sure, take them, I don’t mind”.

So if you have a non-infectious, available, consenting donor from the prison system then what?
They cannot put them to death at the prison.
They would need to transport them alive to the hospital, harvest organs then declare them dead.
So it would be the qualified surgeons and surgical nurses who took life deliberately.
They are not trained for this, and understand better than anyone what taking a life truly means and how it can impact. Not to mention the fact that they have taken a Hippocratic oath.

Why should they bear the burden?
Would America then struggle to find good medical professionals to work on the organ transplant teams?

On a more moralistic standpoint. You claim to be against the death penalty and I am not going to get into that debate. But if you claim to be against the death penalty, then how can you advocate for the benefit of some on the deliberate death of prisoners? If we make use of the human remains of death penalty prisoners, what are the chances of having the death penalty abolished?

What are the chances of the numbers of people charged with the death penalty increasing in response to organ needs of the population?

What are the chances of more people charged with the death penalty being put to death sooner, lessening the chances of an appeal?

‘Only’ 38 prisoners were executed in the USA in 2010 but there were over 4000 people killed on motorbikes in 2004 in the USA alone.

Stop wasting your time worrying about "wasting lives" that have already been stopped through a death sentence.
Start informing your friends and families that THEY need to make a decision and share it with their friends and families.
Because it won’t be the “bad guy” that you don’t know that saves a life.
It will be someone you love and miss.
And yes, it would still be a great shame to waste a life.

For information on the death penalty in the USA please see this link here.


  1. I saw the jodi Picoult book(of course) about a death row guy who wanted to donate.. and blah blah blah the trouble it caused to the mum of the intended donatee (some relative of the reason the guy was on death row) and I sort of thought. that would be nice(ish) but no further.
    I totally(and I guess she didnt either) think about the actual procedure.

  2. The thing that is annoying me at present is the fact they blocked my polite comments pointing out the flaws in their artical.
    Stupid people who don't want to learn really PISS ME OFF!


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