On January 3, a convicted felon was given a new heart at Stanford Medical Center. This transplant was paid for by the courtesy of California taxpayers. With this, people found it extremely troubling that a criminal would receive an organ transplant while hundreds of law-abiding citizens who are in need of an organ are forced to wait. This brings up the discussion if the convicted felon should even receive the transplant, as well as medical care at all. Therefore, to what extent can a person’s value be determined by their actions?
A person’s actions may fully express their value, but in this case, receiving an organ transplant should depend on the severity of the actions committed. Every individual makes mistakes and in order to fully grasp an understanding of a person’s value, everything should be put into context. Their value should be judged not only on one specific action, but several. It is not acceptable to categorize someone due to one poor decision they have made. Therefore, in order to decide whether or not a convicted felon should receive a heart transplant all depends on the severity of their case, as well as their background.
It should be acceptable to receive an organ transplant as a convicted felon because there is a difference between the person inside the prison and the person outside the prison that is not always caught. Not all people in prison are bad individuals, and not all bad people are in prison. A person could be wrongly convicted of a crime, and never get an opportunity for medical care just because they were imprisoned. It is true that a person’s actions influence their value, but even if there actions have not been righteous, that does not mean that they should be denied of their humanity.
If prisons were not to provide medical care, every imprisonment could essentially become a death sentence. Ethically speaking, this would seem morally wrong and unjust. Other ethical problems, which exist by not allowing felons to receive a transplant, include that the felon would be stripped of his or her liberty and the necessities of life. Without medical care, felons’ basic human needs would not be reached, and thus be seen as unethical. Contrastingly, it would seem more morally right to allow a law-abiding citizen to receive a transplant and any other kind of medical care before a convicted felon.
Since the law-abiding citizen has not committed anything against a legal system, it would appear to be only right for that person to be a first priority. Yes, the convicted felon should be permitted to receive a transplant and medical care, but if a first need basis were present, the law-abiding citizen should be treated first. Ultimately, a person’s actions determine their value, but it depends on what actions and how frequently they have been performed. It also depends on the severity of their actions and their background life.
According to this, a convicted felon should be allowed to receive transplants and medical care just as a law-abiding citizen is allowed. Refraining from doing so would be unethical because the felon would be denied of their humanity and stripped of their liberty. In spite of this, law-abiding citizens should always have first priority of transplants and medical care. Since they have not committed anything unjust, they have the right to a first need basis, unlike the felons. Essentially, both persons should be allowed equal transplant and health care benefits due to the necessities of life.