Lay attitudes toward involuntary organ procurement from death-row prisoners: no, but

Maya Bar-Hillel and Jacob Lavee

A multi-item questionnaire concerning lay people's attitudes toward organ procurement without consent from executed prisoners was given to several hundred respondents. The items ranged from all-out condemnation ("It is tantamount to murder") to enthusiasm ("It is great to have this organ supply"). Overall, we found two guiding principles upheld by most respondents: (1) Convicts have as much a right to their bodies and organs as other people, so the practice should be judged by the same standards as those that guide organ procurement from any donor. Procuring organs without consent is wrong. (2) Benefiting from those organs should be held to more lenient standards than are demanded for their procurement. So, benefitting from these ill-gotten organs should be tolerated.

June, 2019
Published in: 
Behavioural Public Policy