Sunday, January 2, 2011

Baroque kidney donation story from Mississippi

Sister's kidney donation condition of Miss. parole

"JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — For 16 years, sisters Jamie and Gladys Scott have shared a life behind bars for their part in an $11 armed robbery. To share freedom, they must also share a kidney.

"Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour suspended the sisters' life sentences on Wednesday, but 36-year-old Gladys Scott's release is contingent on her giving a kidney to Jamie, her 38-year-old sister, who requires daily dialysis.

"The sisters were convicted in 1994 of leading two men into an ambush in central Mississippi the year before. Three teenagers hit each man in the head with a shotgun and took their wallets — making off with only $11, court records said.

"Jamie and Gladys Scott were each convicted of two counts of armed robbery and sentenced to two life sentences."

And here's the unsurprising reaction to linking parole to kidney donation: Mississippi Gov "unethical" over jail release: surgeon

"Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour acted unethically when he suspended a woman's life sentence on condition she donate a kidney to her sister, a prominent transplant surgeon said on Thursday.
"A condition of Gladys Scott's release is that she donate a kidney to her sister in an operation that should be performed urgently, Barbour said in a statement on Wednesday. She had agreed to be a donor for her sister, who requires dialysis.
"Michael Shapiro, chief of organ transplantation at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey, criticized the decision to impose a condition for the release.

"While Governor Barbour probably meant nothing nefarious by this decision, what he did was unethical and possibly illegal. He is unaware of the procedures of transplantation that include making sure donors are not coerced," Shapiro said.

"There were also medical reasons why such a condition was inappropriate, not least that Barbour may not know whether Jamie Scott is suitable or healthy enough for a transplant, said Shapiro, chair of the ethics committee of the nonprofit United Network for Organ Sharing.

"Shapiro also questioned whether Barbour ordered Scott released because her treatment was a financial burden on the state.

"If either party could be turned down for medical concerns, the transplant team would feel pressured to continue with the transplant or send them back to prison. It is a position they should not be put in," he said."

HT: Mike Ostrovsky

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