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Organ Donations And The Criminal Essay, Research Paper

Organ Donations and the Criminal

Science continues to evolve at a faster pace than the scientists that brought it to life. Organ donations and transplants is a natural process that we all need to get involved in. Becoming a donor or a recipient is not an easy task. Two factors in organ donation and transplantation are who can donate or who can receive an organ transplant. Another important factor is the race of the donor and the receiver. We must also look at the ethical side of giving and receiving criminal organs.

To become a donor, everyone must go through many stages of medical evaluations and psychological evaluation. This helps the medical transplant teams to know if there are any medical or psychological problems in the donor that can be passed on to the recipient. Some say that the only way to donate is to have a donor card filled out and signed by the donor, but “nearly four in five Americans incorrectly believe a signed donor card is required” (Transweb). In fact, “surviving family permission is required,” and necessary for the donation (Transweb). The granting of permission is difficult; “a high percentage of Americans approve of organ donation, . . . fewer have made a decision about the donation of family members” (Transweb).

To become a recipient, the patient is placed on a waiting list for the organ needed to be transplanted. Society’s idea of transplants is that ” although the majority of Americans do not view organ donation as an experimental procedure, nearly two in five do hold this view” (Transweb). This can cause the issue of having an organ transplanted to the reality of the fear society has created.

Anyone can donate an organ and receive an organ, but society has made it an issue that criminals should not be allowed. Not only are criminals being discriminated against, but also racial issues are becoming a part of the organ donation and transplantation process. Equality is a key that should be used in all-medical processes. Just because someone is Black or Hispanic does not mean that they should be put further on the list of recipients. Although some may disagree, “convicted criminal status should be irrelevant in the evaluation for candidacy as a potential transplant recipient” (UNOS). Issues that are considered or should be considered are “medical concerns (i.e., infectious diseases) [and] psychosocial issues (i.e., character disorders and substance abuse problems that may compromise compliance)” and are capable of transmitting these to the recipient (UNOS).

Organ donation and transplantation is not a simple process. There are so many factors that are involved and include the status of donor, transplant evaluations, and the ethical issues involved in the donation and transplants for criminals and people of every race. Organ donations and transplants should be available to anyone whether the person is Black, White, Hispanic, or a criminal. Life is for everyone, no matter who it is.

Works Cited

“The American Public’s Attitudes About Donation, Gallup Survey” 28 May 1999


“UNOS Ethics Committee Position Statement Regarding Convicted Criminals and Transplant Evaluation” 28 May 1999. http://www.unos.com

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