YOUR ORGANS CAN SAVE LIVES
an open letter to death row
In the USA, there are now more than 3,000 prisoners
on death row.
After execution or some other form of death,
the bodies of these condemned people will be burned or
But could condemned prisoners become organ-donors after death?
You are one of these prisoners on death row.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
DO I WANT TO DONATE MY ORGANS
What will happen to my body after my death?
Will it be cremated or buried?
How do I feel about donating my re-usable organs after my execution?
Would I like some good
to come from my death by donating my organs?
How many lives will be saved if I offer all of my organs to strangers?
WILL I CONFESS MY CRIMES?
Am I willing to admit my crimes in order to make organ-donation the
rather than becoming involved in the controversy about capital
Can I provide some details about my crimes to prove beyond doubt
that I actually committed the crimes for which I was justly convicted?
CAN I PROVE THAT MY
DONATION IS REALLY VOLUNTARY?
Am I willing to re-affirm my decision to donate again and again
over a period of several months in order to prove that my donation is
How could I convince skeptics that I am not being manipulated or
Can I overcome any doubts that I am mentally and emotionally capable
of making the free choice to donate my organs after my death?
WILL I WORK TO GET COOPERATION
How do my remaining family and friends feel about me
donating my organs?
Who will have legal authority to dispose of my remains after my
Because organ donation after execution has never been done before,
am I willing to work with all of the people who must make
exceptions to the rules
in order to allow me to donate my organs after I have been executed?
I accept medical testing to make sure my organs are
suitable for transplant?
Would I like to communicate with patients waiting for organ
Would I like to know the particular people who will receive my organs?
How do I feel about my heart beating inside another person after my
How will those who receive my organs feel about the whole process?
WILL I ABANDON ALL APPEALS AND
CHOOSE MY DATE OF EXECUTION?
If I can arrange for my organs to be donated after
will I give up all of my appeals and allow the process of execution to
If I am offered the choice, what would be the best date for my
Would I like to live for a few more years on death row
before going ahead with my execution followed by organ donation?
WILL I CHOOSE VOLUNTARY EXECUTION
IF MY DEATH-SENTENCE IS CHANGED TO LIFE-IMPRISONMENT?
jurisdictions are moving away from the death penalty.
If capital punishment will not be imposed in my case,
will I choose voluntary execution
if I can be assured that my organs will be donated to save other lives?
And if I die a natural death while still in prison,
will I donate my organs after death?
AM I READY TO HANDLE
QUESTIONS FROM THE MEDIA?
How will I handle the publicity certain to precede
because of my very-unusual plan to donate my organs after execution?
How will I feel if I become one of the most famous prisoner on death
Am I willing to explain to the media my reasons for donating my organs?
How will I cope with renewed references to my crimes?
How will I deal with people who hate me for my crimes?
Can I counter-balance my painful memories and my dread as I face
with the hope of saving several strangers from death?
James Park is an independent existential philosopher
and advocate for organ donation after execution.
The links below offer much more writing on this subject.
April 8, 2011; Revised 4-14-2011; 4-21-2011; 4-24-2011; 5-12-2011;