Should a death arrow inmate be allowed to donate his organs?

by elizabethpetel on January 30, 2014 - 4:56pm

In the article of Paul C Mclean, Should a death row inmate be allowed to donate his organs?,, he talks about an inmate that raped and murdered a child, which is why he was sentenced to death and is currently on death row. While Phillips is on death row, he's contemplating the idea of donating some of his organs to his mother and his sister. His sister is in need of a heart and his mother, a kidney. Speculation began arising whether morally, he should be allowed to donate his organs and his life would be taken. I chose this topic because I find it's a very controversial subject because there are many different perspectives about this subject. This topic also caught my eye because I'm interested in the consequences of the death row inmates. Should a death arrow inmate be allowed to donate his organs? In my opinion, I don't think ethics have anything to do with saving a life. If the inmate's organs are healthy enough to save somebody's life, then it would be unfair to not help someone in need, it would be punishing them for someone else's mistake. On the other hand, it is true that if we take Phillips organs, he would automatically die. I think the people that are against this, don't want Phillips to die in a noble way, such as donating his organs; they want him to die in a cruel manner. What do you think about this? Should we allow Phillips, or any other death row inmate, to give his organs even if it is ethically wrong?


I entirely agree with you that the inmate should be allowed to give his organs. If the man is going to be killed for his actions there is no reason not to put his healthy and viable organs in good use. Maybe some people think that this is not ethically right because the murderer should not have a chance to redeem himself but with the number of lives his organs could probably save, why not? I actually think that most people on death row should be obligated to give their organs and with today’s policies the organ "transplantees" would never know where their new organs come from. I find that the real problem with organ transplant is that we would be ready to give organs to a prisoner on death row. In this article, we can see that a prisoner who is going to be killed wants new organs. This is something I find unacceptable because we are just keeping a man alive to later kill him by our own means, therefore wasting perfectly good organs which could probably save many lives.

I find this topic quite interesting since organ donation is always such a touchy subject. There are so many people out there that require transplants to live, so why should it matter where they get them from so long as it's not done illegally or without the consent of the donor? I thus believe that the state should allow Phillips, and any other death row inmate that might want to be a donor, to give away their organs. The writer of the article believes that taking organs from a prisoner is coercive, but I don't believe that is truly the case, since the inmate already knows that he is going to die, and that offering his organs to medicine won't in any way prolong his life, or “reduce his sentence”. Society has decided that death row inmates should die painlessly, even though the crimes they have done were bad enough that they merit death, and their victims likely did not get the same amount of thoughtfulness. So what should it matter if the inmate dies under painless anaesthesia instead of through a painless overdose? Both of those methods will result in the very same result, and at least one of those deaths will offer further life to another. So yes, I believe a death row inmate should be allowed to donate his organs because their morals (or lack thereof) do not in any way affect the organs that they are offering, and if the person has made the decision while being sane of mind then their decision should be respected. As for the arguments already presented, it is true that refusing to help someone in need for "ethical reasons in this case is ridiculous. The inmate will die anyways so there is no reason to consider his death unethical, since it will be no matter what method is used. However, the argument about wanting Phillips to die in a cruel manner seems nonsensical, because the way that he will be killed is in no way cruel. He will most likely be killed by lethal injection, which is the least cruel way to go in terms of execution-methods. I believe that this article could be interesting for further reading because it deals with the living conditions of death row inmates, which are oftentimes better than for a lot of lower-class families, and sometimes even middle-class families, as well as with the right for a last meal for someone who is sentenced to die.