Massachusetts bill offers reduced sentences for organ donations

Posted 45 days ago


Massachusetts Democrats have proposed a bill that would see inmates offered reduced sentences if they donate their organs and bone marrow.

The legislation, helmed by State Reps. Carlos Gonzalez and Judith Garcia, would create The Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Program within the state's Department of Correction that would see prisoners lose between 60 days to a year off their sentence.

The bill, however, has raised ethical concerns for the more than 6,000 men and women incarcerated in the Bay State.

Matthew Cunnigham-Cook, of investigative news outlet The Lever, wrote: 'In essence, the bill would ask prisoners which is more important to them: their freedom, or their organs and bone marrow.'

The proposed legislation calls on the state to form a five-member 'Bone Marrow and Organ Donation Committee,' with only one seat reserved for a prisoner's rights advocate.

Other members would include representatives from the Department of Correction, a donation specialist and a member of an organization advocating for bone marrow and organ donations.

Gonzales told WHYN that the bill could broaden the pool of donors in the state to save lives, adding that he was fueled to introduce the legislation after visiting a friend who suffers from a failing kidney.

'I've put more effort into this bill after visiting a friend, who I consider a brother, in the hospital who is required to have dialysis 3 to 4 times a week while he awaits a kidney transplant.

'He's a father of three children, and he's in his stage 4 of kidney failure. Unless he can obtain a kidney at 40 years old, life expectancy is about 10.4 years for men and 9.1 years for women. I love my friend and I'm praying through this legislation we can extend the chances of life,' he added.... (Read more)