Organ for Commutation

Healthbeat 2000 No. 12.jpgHealthbeat 2000 No. 12.jpg

The list of patients needing organ transplantation grows endlessly. The Kidney Patients Association of the Philippines drafted a proposal to donate a vital organ in exchange for the commutation of the capital punishment to life imprisonment.

Secretary Romualdez, however, said the act of organ donation should be voluntary. “Asking a person to donate in exchange for a commutation of sentence is similar to a poor man compelled to sell his organs to earn some money,” the health chief said.

Pope John Paul II also encourages organ transplant and organ donation but pointed out the Church’s stand related to the issue which is condemning the sale of organs, insisting on informed consent on both sides of the exchange, and singling out the complete end of brain activity as an acceptable way to determine when death has occurred.

The Pope added that any procedure which tends to commercialize human organs or to consider them as an item of exchange or train must be considered morally unacceptable.