General Question

Nimis's avatar

Would you care whether or not your organ(s) went to a convict?

Asked by Nimis (13090 points ) April 24th, 2009

Many people choose to donate their organs and are comforted
by the idea that their organs are helping those in need.
Would it matter to you who those people in need were?

Would you be willing to give your organs to a murderer or rapist?
How do you feel about the millions of tax dollars spent on these implant surgeries?

Should donor eligibility be a right for every human being?
Or should donor eligibility only be a right for every citizen?
(Convicts are stripped of many citizenship rights like voting, etc.)

Do you have complete trust in our legal system?
Do you believe everyone in prison deserves to be there?
What if they’re actually wrongfully accused?

Does the severity of their crimes affect your opinion?
Does the length of their sentence affect your opinion?
What if the convict was serving a life sentence?

On the other hand, how would you feel about donating an organ to a good person with a family—but only several months to live (even with a new organ)?

Who decides the order of a donor list?
Who decides which life is worth saving over another?
Should donors have a say in this matter?

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24 Answers

casheroo's avatar

I believe the organization for organ donation decides the order, and it goes by who needs it the most. And regarding whether a donor should have a say…well, that’d be like selling organs, and people go into a big fit when people want to do that. I’m all for organ selling and deciding who gets the organs.

ubersiren's avatar

It wouldn’t matter to me at all. Not all bad people are caught and not all caught people are bad, imho.

cookieman's avatar

no, but I would mind if they took my piano.

ubersiren's avatar

@cprevite : zzzzzzing!

oratio's avatar

Nope. I wouldn’t need them anyway. Saving a life is saving a life.

cookieman's avatar

OK, sorry. Serious answer now.

I am an organ donor and I would not mind who my organs go to for two reasons.

One: Independent of how someone chose to live their life, they would now be in need of a life-saving organ replacement. If they happen to be a criminal or a convict, this life changing experience may just be the thing to kick them in the ass.

Two: I’d be dead, so what would I care.

as for the rest of the sub-questions: millions in taxpayer dollars, trusting government, etc. etc.
It’s an imperfect system for sure, but so aren’t they all. In the end, the “good” of the donor program far outweighs the “bad”.

oratio's avatar

However, I think that pretty soon they will grow new organs from stem cells on demand. Give it a decade or two.

ragingloli's avatar

not really no.
a saved life is a saved life.
and since the judicial system is less than perfect, he might not even be guilty.

oratio's avatar

I mean, I give blood regularly. I don’t care who gets it. I just care about that somebody might.

Facade's avatar

I agree with @ubersiren

Staalesen's avatar

Dont think so.. I would be dead,,,,

Judi's avatar

It’s a hard question. I can tell you that in California, a huge part of our budget deficit is the liberal medical care we give to the people in the prison system. (Jails not so good, but prison!) I am pretty sure I heard that California will even pay for a prisoner to complete a sex change operation if they have started taking the hormones before they came in. They are entitled to 24 hour dental service too. They have better medical coverage than the people paid to guard them and they get dessert with every meal. I am not saying it’s a pleasant place, but it’s pretty sad that the convicts are taken better care of than the law abiding citizens. That said, I would prefer that ALL people get appropriate medical care, even convicts, but I wish we would start with those who obey the law.

drClaw's avatar

@cprevite has the right idea. Even if your organs were going to go to “Hitler Stalin Mussilini Himmler Manson Hun BinLadden” you’d be dead so i doubt it would matter much.

Darwin's avatar

I agreed to be an organ donor. I didn’t agree to be a recipient selector. I must trust in the doctors doing the work to use my organs appropriately to save as many lives as possible. Besides, as others have said, I would be dead at the time and thus probably uninterested in the entire process.

Lightlyseared's avatar

I wouldn’t care. I’d be dead by then anyway

rooeytoo's avatar

I would certainly prefer that they go to someone who is making a contribution to society not someone who is living off of it.

It does seem ironic that those who have committed crimes against society have access to better health and dental care than those who are outside working and paying.

I pretty much agree with Judi.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

If I were to posthumously donate organs, I’d prefer they go to someone who isn’t likely to get a shank in my donated organs a week later.
That’d be wasteful.

cdwccrn's avatar

I am an organ donor. I am a nurse caring for both donors, waiting potential recipients, and recipients. I have had a family member receive a heart.
My only concern about who gets my stuff arises from the fact that donors are limited, precious, scarce.
I would want my organs to go someone who has some good to contribute to society. A convict stuck in prison for the rest of his life would not be my first choice.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

Sure I care who gets my organs. I don’t see the use of them going to someone in prison who contributes nothing to society but instead takes away.

oratio's avatar

Well, having an opinion on who should get the organs are quite hypothetical, I hope. It all sounds well and good that you should not give them to the evil people of the world.

But when people gets to chose who is good enough to receive organs that would otherwise rot away in the ground, you will have people who will refuse to give them to blacks, muslims, jews, former alcoholics, people of low IQ, ugly people or simply people of wrong opinions. Not everyone can use your organs.

If purity of mind and heart should be a requirement, I think it speaks more about the donor than the recipient. But, that’s only me. They are your organs. Maybe I should require that the only people who gets my blood is people of good intentions.

benjaminlevi's avatar

Why? Is anyone keeping their name off the donor list because they are afraid of giving organs to convicts.

Nimis's avatar

@benjaminlevi According to a senator (who is proposing a bill to legislate organ allocation),
there have been people tearing up their donor cards. (But that’s a clearly biased source.)

life_after_2012's avatar

I wouldnt care at all.

Trojans40's avatar

I think everyone deserve a second chance in either small or big ways. I would donate my heart to someone and hopefully he or she has a change of heart.

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