Trading Jail Time for Organ Donations?

There is a Senate committee in South Carolina that has approved legislation to give prisoners the option of reducing their sentences by up to 6 months in exchange for organs and bone marrow.   The main sponsor of this bill, Sen. Ralph Anderson, believes that this bill will help motivate prisoners to help others by allowing them to get out of prison early. 

The proposal was approved earlier this month by the Senate Committee, but is certain to face opposition from many legal and prisoner rights experts.  Lawrence Gostin, a professor of law at Georgetown University Law Center said, \”For a prisoner to actually have a benenfit for giving up an organ violates every ethical value I\’m aware of.  It\’s grossly unethical, if not unlawful.\” 

Law makers said they would not debate this issue until they figure out whether or not the exchange of body parts for a decreased sentence  violates any federal laws.  Under current laws, it is illegal to trade any body parts for \”valuable consideration.\”  Legislators are trying to figure out if using organs as a bargaining chip for less time in prison constitutes a \”consideration.\” 

So what do you guys think?  Should prisoners be allowed to reduce their prison sentence in exchange for organs or bone marrow?  Granted, they would be helping a lot of people who are currently in need of organ transplants and have serious health issues, but is this really an ethical way of going about this? 

Also, these people were sent to jail for a reason.  Should they really be given the option to get out of jail before their sentence is up?

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