prisoners and organ donation

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Running head: PRISONERS AND ORGAN DONATION Prisoners and Organ Donation Prisoners and Organ Donation A continuing problem exists in trying to close the gap between the supply and demand of procured organs in the United States. An increase in the amount of transplant operations performed has risen significantly over time. As a result, a new name is added to the national waiting list every 16 minutes (Duan, Gibbons, & Meltzer, 2000). It is estimated that about 100,000 individuals are on the national transplant waiting list at all times (Munson, 2012). Something needs to be done before these numbers get completely out of control. Despite the introduction of Gift of Life and many other educational efforts, the United…show more content…
In most cases, executed or living prisoners would be eligible organ donors. With the high demand for organ transplantations, by allowing prisoners to participate it would produce more happiness than unhappiness. In fact, it seems more appealing to allow prisoners to participate in organ donation than the alternative of doing nothing (Munson, 2012). The principle of beneficence is one major ethical principle relevant in allowing prisoners to participate in organ donation. By providing organs to those individuals in need, participating prisoners are promoting the principle of beneficence. In an effort to promote beneficence by donating organs, we are preventing harm, removing harm, and doing good (Bagatell, Kahn, & Owens, 2010). By giving prisoners the option to participate in organ donation all three of these characteristics are displayed. Ideally, the prisoner or potential donor prevents harm and removes harm to the suffering recipient by eliminating the diseased organ. As a result, the prisoner is doing a good deed by participating in the act of organ donation and giving back to society for their wrongful action. Munson best illustrates the importance of this by stating that, “we should help other people when we are able to do so” (Munson, 2012, p. 894). The principle of beneficence also tells us that we have the duty as individuals to act in ways that will benefit each other. It was estimated that in 2008 approximately one and a half million people spent time in
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