Healthcare News

The American Society Of Transplantation Calls On Governor Barbour To Delink The Suspended Sentence Of Gladys Scott From Organ Donation

March 19, 2017

The American Society of Transplantation (AST) has delivered a letter to Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour requesting that he issue a formal statement delinking his recent suspension of Gladys Scott's prison sentence from her willingness to become a kidney donor for her sister Jamie Scott. The link, perceived or otherwise, between the act of organ donation and the suspension of a prison sentence runs counter to the current standard of practice for organ transplantation and widely accepted medical ethics.

"The decision to donate an organ should be a truly selfless act, free from coercion and not conditioned on financial or any other material gain," states AST President Dr. Maryl R. Johnson. "The AST encourages Governor Barbour to base his decision concerning Gladys Scott only on the merits of her legal standing and not on her willingness to become an organ donor.

The donation of an organ in exchange for anything of value is prohibited under the National Organ Transplant Act (NOTA) of 1984. As amended, NOTA prohibits knowingly acquiring, receiving or otherwise transferring any human organ for valuable consideration if the transfer affects interstate commerce. With regard to the Scott sisters, the determination of a suspended sentence should not be based on one's willingness to become an organ donor.

"Failure to remove organ donation from the vetting process of a suspended prison sentence jeopardizes the altruistic motivation for all organ donation and sets a dangerous precedent for the future of solid organ transplantation," states Dr. Johnson.

American Society of Transplantation