Saturday, January 15, 2011

Kidney Transplant Sisters Get Prison Release

Here is a bizarre story on many fronts.   Two sisters, Gladys (age 36) and Jamie (age 38) Scott have been serving life sentences in Mississippi for robbing two men at gunpoint of $11.00  in 1993.   No one was injured in the crime.  They had no prior criminal record and were sentenced to two (not one but two) life terms each.  Gladys has two children and Jamie has three children, who have been cared for by their grandmother since the sisters were sentenced to life at age 19 and 21 years old.

I could write a blog on that sentence alone!

Jamie Scott has kidney failure and is receiving dialysis three times a week.  Her sister could possibly be a kidney donor match even though she has not yet been tested as a donor.  Efforts by the N.A.A.C.P. and other grass-roots groups to get them released have finally paid off.   Republican Governor Haley Barbour has paroled the sisters on the condition that one donate a kidney to the other.   Why did he come to this decision?  Because the dialysis treatment is a financial burden to the State of Mississippi.

This story points out so many issues that are just plain wrong.

1.  How could two young women get life sentences for armed robbery ($11 with no injury sustained)?
2.  Organ donation should be a voluntary act of kindness, not a coerced or business decision.
3.  No-one knows the state of these womens health after 16 years in a Mississippi prison.
4.  Why does the United States have 5% of the world's population and 25% of the world's prisons?
5.  Why do we have a health system that shifts costs from States (Medicaid) to the Feds (Medicare) to the Prisons to the Military (VA) to the private sector?  Does this system work?  (The answer is NO)

Only in America.

15 comments:

Erin Edwards said...

What if she not a match. Maybe same blood type, but they need to do tissue typing, antigen crossmatching. And organ donation is supposed to be voluntary. This, this is truly unethical.I've been through renal failure and ESRD..both those women looked quite healthy, no hollowed out eyes, no bags, not ports in their arms of chest. Please next time some decides that getting out of prison for a kidney transplant is a good idea, remind them: my brother, my donor, got cookies and flowers!

tracy said...

The whole prison sentence is just so...stupid! Sorry, best word i could come up with at the moment.

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