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Killer's quest: Allow organ donation after execution
|Contributor||Archbishop Katz |
|Last Edited||Archbishop Katz Apr 21, 2011 01:45pm|
|Author||JoNel Aleccia |
|News Date||Thursday, April 21, 2011 09:00:00 PM UTC0:0|
|Description||An Oregon death row inmate is mounting an aggressive behind-bars campaign to donate his organs after he’s executed, in part to repay society for the gruesome murders of his wife and three young children. |
Christian Longo, 37, says he wants to do more to take responsibility for killing his family and dumping their bodies in coastal bays nearly a decade ago than simply accepting execution by lethal injection.
“Why go out and waste your organs when you have the potential to go out and save six to 12 lives?” reasons Longo, whose voice is measured and articulate on the phone from Oregon State Penitentiary cell DRU31 in Salem.
His request to drop his appeals in exchange for being allowed to donate organs has been flatly denied by state corrections officials, who refuse to negotiate with a killer. It’s been denounced in principle as “morally reprehensible” by the nation’s organ donation officials and medical ethicists.
“I don’t think we want to be the kind of society that takes organs from prisoners,” said Dr. Paul R. Helft, director of the Charles Warren Fairbanks Center for Medical Ethics and Indiana University. "To do so would be to use unfree prisoners as a means to an end."