Title

Organ Transplants for Prison Inmates: A Pragmatic Approach

Date of Award

8-25-2014

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Healthcare Leadership

Degree Name

Master of Professional Studies

Department

Healthcare Leadership

Advisor

Gregory Smith

Keywords

prison; healthcare; organ; transplant; inmate; ethics

Abstract

Prison inmates are the only population in the United States with a Constitutional right to healthcare, but should this entitle them to receive organ transplants? Current consensus emphasizes the importance of using only medical criteria to determine a patient's transplant eligibility, avoiding consideration of incarcerated status. This project raises the question whether the conditions of confinement jeopardize an inmate's post-transplant survival benefit measure such that a patient's incarcerated status qualifies as medical criteria. The comparison between current literature and inquiry of prison health professionals reveals a significant incongruence in our understanding of this issue, a lack of concrete data to support a finding, and an indication that further research is vital to definitively answer this question.

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