Caged animals in zoos often involve our sympathy for their lack of freedom. Actually they are treated well, not to mention animals raised by private person. They are so noble that they are bought insurances, fed expensive pet food and provided medical care. They are treated as baby humans or sometimes more than humans. However, for human beings imprisoned, even giving them basic medical care is likely to make some law-abiding taxpayers annoyed. They don’t want to give prisoners any essential help. When prisoners are badly ill and need organ transplants, people want to ignore the medical need of prisoners and blame that “they deserve to die”.
I feel so guilty for all these people, thinking of human lives more trivial than caged animals. This is definitely wrong. Leaving them alone means killing them. I believe prisoners’ medical need on transplantation should not be ignored. Prisoners share equal human rights like law-abiding people in medical care. Literally, human rights are the rights born with human beings, including life, death, health, freedom and the like. Although prisoners are forfeiting freedom, as long as they are alive, health is still their right. Because if a process can be taken to save lives from illness but is not taken, it is a cruelty to leave them to die.
And there is no difference between the ignorance on medical need and robbery of their life rights. That is to say, when the ignorance happens, you are executing prisoners with very cruel methods without humanity. Especially in the U. S. where death penalty is eliminated, the country is obligated to give prisoners sufficient medical care. According to “The Ethics of Organ Transplantation for Prisoners”, “the U. S. Supreme Court ruled prisoners were entitled to receive adequate medical care” and the empowerment has taken place for about 40 years (Kahn, 365-6).
In other words, legislation is ensuring “adequate” medical care to prisoners. And these medical cares include all basic medical needs for human beings. In fact, people conventionally treat transplantation as a basic care with high expense but it cannot be judged by prices. Because when a transplant is considered, it means that the protective therapies cannot be useful as before. It is really a need for all people. Prisoners must have the access to organ transplant as other people. But some people may doubt this. These people impose of prisoners’ past deed to deter their rights and to judge them in candidate selection.
They blame prisoners of bad habits and crimes. However, they do not only defame prisoners but also punch themselves in the face, because actually people imprisoned cannot be simply verified as bad and people out of prison cannot be easily thought as good. You cannot judge a person with past deed. On one hand, bad habits can be found on many law-abiding taxpayers. In China, businessmen have to drink a lot while negotiating on business. This is really a fixed convention. Many people may become alcoholic with bad livers ruined by this harmful habit. Then they put liver transplants on their schedules.
However, if judged by past deed, they do not deserve the liver transplants. And their recovery cannot be ensured and there is a big possibility that they will get the same problem again. Nevertheless, prisoners have regulated life under the prison system. So they can be good candidates for transplants. On the other hand, a person imprisoned can be a good one. In China, a man called Dan Liao, forged fake official signatures to cheat money from hospitals for his wife’s treatment. Although this man was sentenced 3 years, he won respect from many Chinese people (wikipedia). I have to say he is a really good husband and I am totally touched.
No matter what he did to the hospital, he just wanted to save the life of his wife. And money was the only obstacle. Poverty forced him to do so. If we could have been aware of things like this earlier, some crimes like Dan’s would not have happened. So seen from another angle, we should feel guilty for creating these crimes. “But you still cannot give prisoners organ transplantations in that organs are most effectively used only on the society’s contributors. ” I think some taxpayers will still hold this objection. They focus on people’s future benefits and regard prisoners as useless.
They may even complain they are paying for prisoners’ expense. But it is not true. Actually, prisoners are raising themselves. Based on statistics in 2005, prisoner industries are giving “annual revenue of $50 billion” (Talvi, 2005) to the U. S. government. Prisoner industries are literally government-granted industries with prisoner workers. In America, a lot of corporations are using prisoners as workers like AT&T, Motorola and IBM. So the data here means prisoners are making fortunes to the society. They are the contributors as well. And I have to say they are also making salaries this way, not to mention the fines they have paid.
Adding these three parts of money up, actually they are raising themselves. Don’t say you are raising them any more, taxpayers. It is really a shame to say so. And even if prisoners cannot show their worthy to the society now, they may accomplish it in the future, because prison systems are rehabilitating and training them. This is the system work for. These trainings are like education and providing the society with good workers. So the objection about future benefits is nonsense and prisoners should be equally considered when facing a transplant need.
As I have proved so far, prisoners should have equal rights with taxpayers on organ transplants. Prisoners are human beings and they should not be ignored when they need medical care. Remember what I have described in the very beginning of my paper. If we cannot give prisoners fair medical care, we are making them less than animals. When you want prisoners waiting for death and taking care of pets as a prince, don’t you feel guilty of it? As the heroes of the new eras, we are obligated to make our society more beautiful. So we should advocate donating organs and treat lives seriously and fairly.
Kahn, Jeffrey. “The Ethics of Organ Transplantation for Prisoners.” Seminars in dialysis 16.5 (2003): 365-6. Print. Talvi, Silja. “Cashing in on Cons.” In these times. 4 Feb 2005: 16-19. Print. http://inthesetimes.com/article/1924 Wikipedia. “Liao Dan”, 18 Jul 2012. http://wiki.china.org.cn/wiki/index.php/Liao_Dan