Utah Allows Prisoners to Donate Organs

In March, the Utah legislature passed, and Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert signed, a law that allows prisoners to register as organ donors.  The notion of permitting prisoners to designate themselves as organ donors has occasioned challenging ethical questions, and Utah is the first state explicitly to allow prisoners to provide for organ donation at death.

In the ethical debate about prisoners donating organs, the potential for coercing prisoners into becoming donors has been balanced against the large number of people on the organ waiting list of the United Network of Organ Sharing.  The state representative behind the Utah bill was inspired by the death of a man in prison for murder who wanted to become a donor at death but was not allowed to do that.

Read Utah’s Inmate Medical Donation Act here.

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