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Friday, December 31, 2010

Imprisoned sisters will go free, if one donates kidney to the other

Organ

Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour says he'll release two sisters serving life sentences for an $11 robbery -- IF one of the sisters agrees to donate her kidney to the other. Which sounds terribly dramatic until you read that it was the kidney-rich sister's idea, and that -- if the sisters aren't matches -- the governor is still going to let them go early. Gladys and Jamie Scott have served 16 years so far.

All of this comes a few days after Barbour caught hell for making some politically incorrect remarks about the civil-rights era, so some critics wonder if he's doing this to buy forgiveness. The cherry on top: The Scotts want to move to Florida, so Mississippi's prison system won't have to pay for dialysis or the transplant. Everbody wins! Except Florida!

The Washington Post interviewed a few bioethicists who suggest that, hey, maybe we shouldn't make organ donation a condition of early prison releases.

Shapiro said he fears that if it becomes widely known that donating an organ could spur release from prison, "everybody in prison would be lining up with the parole board offering to donate a kidney."

(AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File)

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