Utah Prisoners to Start Donating Organs
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Utah prisoners are slated to start donating organs. Utah prisoners recently got the green light to donate their organs when Governor Gary R. Herbert signed the state’s first law permitting them to do so. The debate over whether or not it should be allowed has raged on for quite some time and involves both ethical and practical matters.

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Utah prisoners are slated to start donating organs. Utah prisoners recently got the green light to donate their organs when Governor Gary R. Herbert signed the state’s first law permitting them to do so. The debate over whether or not it should be allowed has raged on for quite some time and involves both ethical and practical matters. Ethics experts are concerned about it opening the door to the practice of weighing the rights of a vulnerable prison population against the urgent need for organ donation.Health issues include disease and the potential inability to harvest the organs quickly enough. According to the Utah Department of Corrections in 2012 however, only 40 of approximately 69 hundred prisoners tested HIV positive.The law was enacted in large part because of the efforts of Utah State Representative Steve Eliason. He was motivated by the story of an inmate who wanted to donate his organs but was prohibited by the state from doing so.Eliason said, “How disappointing is that, there’s somebody who maybe wants to atone for his sins in some way. It’s a waste of perfectly good organs that could help others.”Nearly 250 prisoners have already signed up for the program.