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More on Death Row Organ Donation

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Following up on yesterday's post on death row organ donation, Wesley Smith at The Corner (National Review Online), has this long post saying that "volunteer" Christian Longo is running an elaborate con.

That may very well be true.  Many death row inmates are sociopaths, and sociopaths are often skilled manipulators.  (The DSM-IV name "antisocial personality disorder" misleads many laymen to think they are socially awkward loners.  The opposite is more often true.)

Regardless of whether Longo is sincere or running a con, I do think organ donations should be allowed, and that is one more reason to switch to the single-drug protocol. 

7 Comments

He really is a horrible person. Longo's article made him sound remorseful and like a changed man. I was almost feeling sympathy for him. Reading a little about what he did to get where he is definitely give you more to think about. And the writer admitted he only gave a very brief summary of his crimes.

I did think about it a little yesterday though; does it matter what he did? Donors are always kept anonymous from the recipient and vice versa, but patients do sometimes find out where the organs came from. Would it make a difference to a patient that the life saving organ he got came from a mass murderer? Ted Kaczynski? A one-time killer? I think it might bother me a little. I could go right on living my life to the fullest, but I'm sure I would like awake at night even years later. I would feel bad for the victim's family and somehow responsible. I might even need a little therapy. But then I'm not the 19 year old recipient of a shiny new heart.

So then maybe only certain death row inmates should be allowed to donate. Which ones? Where do you draw the line? Only criminals who have killed one person? Two people? Only criminals who truly feel sorry? And how can you know that the donor off the street is really a good person? Maybe they just haven't gotten caught yet.

Longo does make a good argument for disease and infection testing. I can't think of any other situation where you would have more than a few hours for testing. A point he didn't make is the harvesting of the organs. The team could be right there, ready to take out all viable organs needed, saving valuable time. (And there is a team of specialists called in from outside the hospital to do just that.)

Or is it fine the way it is. Joe kills Bob, we kill Joe, end of story? Has that really bettered society in any way? It's something I've never really thought of before but it seems to me something good should happen with Joe's body. Maybe it should be donated to science. I guess then the argument could be made that we're sentencing people to death for their bodies. Or their organs.

I once read that a state legislator in Georgia introduced a bill to legalize the guillotine to allow death row inmates to donate their organs. The guillotine bill was naturally shot down.

I guess death penalty supporters want to make executions have the look and feel of a benign medical procedure.

Single-dose protocol it is.

By the way, I do not support the death penalty. But if I did, I would support the long-drop hanging method used in Singapore.

Lethal injection is an intellectually dishonest attempt for society to distance itself from the fact that it is slaughtering a human being.

Oh, not this crap, again! They went with LI to shut up the dishonest antis who were whining that every other method was cruel. They aren't.

The clear, historical fact of the matter is that the opponents of capital punishment put forward lethal injection as the alternative when they were litigating against the gas chamber and the electric chair. See, e.g., Justice Stevens' dissent in Gomez v. District Court. Supporters went along with it just to end the litigation.

Take the results of one Deseret poll from Utah that was conducted in June 2010.

75% of those polled say that if they were in the position of a death row inmate, they would prefer to be executed by lethal injection.

Only 16% chose the firing squad, while 2% chose another execution method.

Even rabidly “anti-death penalty” Utahans falsely pretend that one execution method is supposedly more humane than another.

Sad indeed.

I see that some readers are taking this proposal seriously. If you are one of these, you might want to consult a website called:
ORGAN DONATION AFTER EXECUTION:
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~parkx032/P-ORGAN.html

James Leonard Park,
advocate for organ donors on death row

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