A new bill allows inmates to donate bone marrow & organs for time off their sentence- Some now say this is exploitation

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Recently, lawmakers’ proposed new bill has many people questioning whether informing communities about organ donation should involve "trading organs for freedom." Legislative Bill HD.3822 establishes The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program within the Department of Correction. [i]

A prison inmate is walking with a guard.Photo byJobs For Felons Hub/www.JobsForFelonsHub.com, CC BY 2.0

Prisoner Organ Donation Bill

If the bill is passed, it will allow "incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than a 365-day reduction in the length of their committed sentence.” They would receive a reduction “on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s)." [ii]

The lawmakers behind the proposed legislation state that this new suggested bill would “broaden the pool of potential organ donors. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration, 105,800 men, women, and children are on the national transplant waiting list. Additionally, seventeen people die each day while waiting for a donor for an organ transplant. Another person is added to the transplant waiting list every ten minutes. [iii]

Similarities to Soylent Green

     In an online discussion, Don Cirelli of Canton, Ohio, recently shared that the new legislation is reminiscent of the science fiction horror story Soylent Green. The dystopian thriller film was directed by Richard Fleischer and starred Charlton Heston, Leigh Taylor-Young, and Edward G. Robinson. The plot combined elements of science fiction with police procedural during the investigation of a dystopian future of dying oceans and year-round humidity resulting from the greenhouse effect.

Watch the trailer for the popular 1973 film below. 

Risks of Organ Donation

Accordingly, inmates would have the opportunity to shave just three months to one year off their sentences for undergoing a major surgery that could result in death. The Mayo Clinic describes immediate risks for a living-donor transplant as “pain, infection, hernia, bleeding, blood clots, wound complications,f and, in rare cases, death.” [iv]

They also indicate that “donating an organ may also cause mental health issues, such as symptoms of anxiety and depression.” The Mayo Clinic also reveals that individuals who donate organs and the organ does not work correctly in the recipient may feel regret, anger, and resentment. [v]

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[i] 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Ma., Bill HD.3822 (Jan. 2023)

[ii] Id.

[iii] Health Resources & Services Administration, Organ Donation Statistics (2023)

[iv] Mayo Clinic, Living-donor transplant (2023)

[v] Id.

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