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Ethical concerns over bill reducing prison sentence for organ donation

Two Massachusetts legislators say shortening prisoners' sentences in exchange for organ donation would help those in need.
Posted at 9:53 AM, Feb 06, 2023

 A new proposed bill in Massachusetts is stirring controversy. It would allow prisoners to donate organs or bone marrow in exchange for a shorter sentence. The bill would remove anywhere from 60 days to a year off of a sentence. 

The two Democratic state legislators who sponsored the bill say it would help expand the pool of organ donation. More than 100,000 people are currently on the wait list for an organ. Nearly every 10 minutes, another person is added to the transplant list. About 89,000 people are alone or in need of a kidney. And sadly, 17 people die every day waiting for an organ transplant. Now, federal prisoners can donate organs to relatives, but critics warn the proposed bill in Massachusetts comes with a host of ethical concerns. 

Arthur Caplan, who heads NYU's Grossman School of Medicine Division of Medical Ethics joined Scripps News' "Morning Rush" to discuss this issue and why there are concerns.