HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Thursday, April 5, 2007

More Fun Ways to Increase Organ Donation

If you were thinking educational efforts or presumed consent laws, think again, South Carolina has another potential answer to the organ shortage  (no need for those scary half-human donors), we can use prisoners.  The Associated Press reported earlier this month that South Carolina's state legislature is considering a bill that encourages organ donations from prisoners by cutting time (180 days) off their prison sentence.  The AP reports:

A state Senate panel on Thursday endorsed creating an organ-and-tissue donation program for inmates. But legislators postponed debate on a measure to reduce the sentences of participating prisoners, citing concern that federal law may not allow it.

"I think it's imperative that we go all out and see what we can do," said the bills' chief sponsor, Democratic Sen. Ralph Anderson. "I would like to see us get enough donors that people are no longer dying."

The proposal approved by the Senate Corrections and Penology Subcommittee would set up a volunteer donor program in prisons to teach inmates about the need for donors. But lawmakers want legal advice before acting on a bill that would shave up to 180 days off a prison sentence for inmates who donate.

South Carolina advocates for organ donations said the policy would be the first in the nation.

Federal law makes it illegal to give organ donors "valuable consideration." Lawmakers want to know whether the term could apply to time off of prison sentences. . . .

Some further thoughts from the Daily Kos webblog

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