Once I am executed, let my organs giving and sharing essay to people who need them. Internet Explorer 9 or earlier.
Go to the home page to see the latest top stories. EIGHT years ago I was sentenced to death for the murders of my wife and three children. I once thought that I could fool others into believing this was not true. Failing that, I tried to convince myself that it didn’t matter.
I spend 22 hours a day locked in a 6 foot by 8 foot box on Oregon’s death row. There is no way to atone for my crimes, but I believe that a profound benefit to society can come from my circumstances. I have asked to end my remaining appeals, and then donate my organs after my execution to those who need them. But my request has been rejected by the prison authorities. 110,000 Americans on organ waiting lists. Around 19 of them die each day. There are more than 3,000 prisoners on death row in the United States, and just one inmate could save up to eight lives by donating a healthy heart, lungs, kidneys, liver and other transplantable tissues.
There is no law barring inmates condemned to death in the United States from donating their organs, but I haven’t found any prisons that allow it. The main explanation is that Oregon and most other states use a sequence of three drugs for lethal injections that damages the organs. Another common concern is that the organs of prisoners may be tainted by infections, H. Though the prison population does have a higher prevalence of such diseases than do non-prisoners, thorough testing can easily determine whether a prisoner’s organs are healthy.
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There are also fears about security — that, for example, prisoners will volunteer to donate organs as part of an elaborate escape scheme. But prisoners around the country make hospital trips for medical reasons every day. And in any case, executions have to take place on prison grounds, so the organ removal would take place there as well. Aside from these logistical and health concerns, prisons have a moral reason for their reluctance to allow inmates to donate.