A proposed Massachusetts bill would allow inmates to reduce their prison sentences in exchange for their organs.
According to CBS News, the controversial legislation is sponsored by two state Democrats, Reps. Judith Garcia, of Chelsea; and Carlos Gonzalez of Springfield. The HD.3822 bill could permit incarcerated individuals to shave two to 12 months off their sentences if they agreed to donate an organ or bone marrow.
Garcia and Gonzalez say the bill would “restore bodily autonomy” to prisoners and help reduce the ever-growing waitlist for organ transplants. The representatives argued it would be especially beneficial for people of color, who are at higher risk of organ failure, but tend to have trouble finding a match.
“We must provide every person who is incarcerated with the guidance of medical experts and advocates in order to ensure them the same rights and opportunities that every individual in Massachusetts has to save the life of their mother, father, brother, sister, child or friend,” González told Boston.com. “In my view, there is no compelling reason to bar inmates from this. One of our goals is to provide information and education on the disproportionate number of Blacks and Latinos dying while waiting for donors.”