State-sponsored organ trafficking legislation proposed in Massachusetts
Massachusetts Bill HD 3822 proposes reducing prison sentences in exchange for organs or bone marrow
Sorry to share such abysmal news, but Massachusetts is considering HD 3822, a new bill that proposes reducing prison sentences for people who give organs or bone marrow. Having worked as a cadaver coordinator and kidney transplant coordinator, I'm acutely aware of the many problems with UNOS, eGFR calculators' racism embedded in most health care software, and our inadequate systems for connecting patients with organs for transplant. But I never could have imagined such an unethically coercive piece of legislation. There are so many things wrong with this bill, not the least of which is the number of formerly incarcerated people who need transplants themselves after prison due to exposure to Hep C and other conditions that can lead to cirrhosis, renal failure, or other chronic illnesses that require organ transplant. I can't read this bill without thinking of the patients I knew who survived prison only to be sentenced to dialysis shortly after their release.
The proposed bill states:
“The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program shall allow eligible incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than 365 day reduction in the length of their committed sentence in Department of Corrections facilities, or House of Correction facilities if they are serving a Department of Correction sentence in a House of Corrections facility, on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone marrow or organ(s)."
In case you'd like to read more:
Massachusetts Bill HD 3822: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/193/HD3822
Boston Globe: https://www.boston.com/news/politics/2023/02/01/massachusetts-bill-prison-time-bone-marrow-organ-donations/?amp=1
MIT Technology Review: https://www.technologyreview.com/2023/02/03/1067768/massachusetts-bill-prisoners-swap-organs-freedom/amp/
WGBH Boston: https://www.wgbh.org/news/local-news/2023/02/02/a-bill-that-would-let-prisoners-trade-organs-for-a-reduced-sentence-faces-significant-blowback
I sincerely hope other states won't sponsor similar bills this year.
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