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Organ Transplants From Executed Prisoners: An Argument for Death Sentence Organ Removal Statutes, Revised Edition.


Organ Transplants From Executed Prisoners: An Argument for Death Sentence Organ Removal Statutes, Revised Edition

Louis J. Palmer, Jr.



186 pages



In this revised edition of a 1999 publication, Palmer takes the reader once again through his argument for taking transplantable organs from the bodies of executed criminals. The first chapter provides an in-depth look at current practices and laws surrounding corpses as they arose from common law, English jurisprudence, and American legal history. Within the context of a greater demand for transplantable organs than supply, the second chapter briefly looks at the current method in the U.S. of arranging for organ transfer: the donation-based organ supply system (D-BOSS). It follows this with a look at four possible ways to commercialize the transfer of organs, along with the arrangement of presumed consent, the Israeli Organ-for-Organ Law, and a proactive method of mandated choice. The third chapter looks at the legal and moral justifications for laws allowing the removal of transplantable organs from committed felons. What does the U.S. Constitution say that might be related to organ removal statutes? In the fourth chapter of this book Palmer looks at the arguments that might be made against the statutes in light of the Free Exercise, Establishment, Involuntary Servitude, Slavery, Takings, Seizure, and Equal Protection clauses. In each case Palmer arrives at conclusions which he feels discredits them. After looking at current means of administering a death sentence, the fifth chapter arrives at the conclusion that anesthesia-induced brain death would be the most appropriate choice to allow for the harvest of still healthy organs. The sixth chapter outlines other changes that would be needed in capital punishment laws. The volume closes with a short look at two practical considerations: legal ownership of the removed organs and the desired anonymity of their receivers. An appendix provides a model statute for death sentence organ removal. It is not clear from the introduction what has been changed in this revised edition. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Article Type:Book review
Date:Aug 1, 2014
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