Friday, June 3, 2011

State Bans Death Row Inmate from Donating Organs

The Daily Mail reports,
An Oregon death row inmate is campaigning to donate his organs after he is executed in an attempt to repay society for the horrific murders of his wife and three children.

Christian Longo, 37, says he wants to save other people’s lives after taking those of his family before dumping their bodies in coastal bays in December 2001.

But he has been denied a request to drop his appeals in exchange for being allowed to donate organs and donation officials have labelled the idea ‘morally reprehensible’.

‘Why go out and waste your organs when you have the potential to go out and save six to 12 lives?’ Longo said from Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem.

However Indiana University medical ethics expert Dr Paul R. Helft said: ‘I don’t think we want to be the kind of society that takes organs from prisoners.'

‘To do so would be to use un-free prisoners as a means to an end,’ he told MSNBC.

But changing inmate donation policies could ease a dire shortage of transplantable organs, despite concerns this would rely on a vulnerable prisoner population.
I can appreciate the moral concerns regarding organ transplants from prisoners, but this is just ridiculous.  It makes sense to prohibit the donation of organs from living prisoners, but this man is going to die.  Longo will have no use for his organs after his execution, but other people certainly will and it would be cruel to prevent them from receiving life saving treatments at the expense of a willingly donated cadaver.  Also, organ donation is a corporal work of mercy and Longo could certainly use the grace attached such works. 

More important than good works of course, is the man's conversion.  No matter what happens to Christian Longo's organs, we must pray that he and all death row inmates repent and are saved through the mercy of God.

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