Ethical Issues in Dialysis
Alan Spital, Series Editor: The Ethics of Organ Transplantation for Prisoners


Jeffrey Kahn, PhD, MPH, Center for Bioethics, Department of Medicine, University of Minnesota, n504 Boynton, 410 Church St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0346, or e-mail:


Organ transplantation for prisoners raises numerous ethical issues. Questions immediately emerge about how to justify the use of scarce organs for prisoners when law-abiding citizens are waiting. The answer to whether and why we ought to perform organ transplants for prisoners lies in how we understand society's commitments to prisoners' health and health care, and whether being incarcerated changes the priority of a patient waiting for a transplant. While prisoners forfeit many freedoms, access to and the provision of adequate health care are guaranteed to them, and ought to include access to organ transplants.