MA House representative unveils innovative understanding of 'bodily autonomy'

HD.3822 proposes to establish a program within the Department of Correction providing for

eligible incarcerated individuals to gain not less than 60 and not more than 365 day
7 reduction in the length of their committed sentence in Department of Corrections facilities, or
8 House of Correction facilities if they are serving a Department of Correction sentence in a House
9 of Corrections facility, on the condition that the incarcerated individual has donated bone
10 marrow or organ(s).

So far, so trivially dystopian; offer nominally voluntary inducement to people in a poor position to refuse the deal so that their valuable bits can be reasssigned to people who matter. A bit surprising to see it proposed without obfuscation; but nothing a little dystopian sci-fi or a cocktail party with Larry Summers wouldn’t have familiarized you with.

Then the weird part:
The bill’s sponsor is cheerfully touting it on twitter as a mechanism to ‘restore bodily autonomy to incarcerated folks’. Is she shockingly naive or does she think we’re shockingly naive?


Oh! My bad, never mind! I think this was a federal bill and this is a state bill! Carry on!


Isn’t there generally a prohibition against incarcerated people, or people who have been incarcerated for even a short period of time, for a couple of years after the incarceration has ended? It’s a question that is always asked when I donate blood.

Basically, this proposal seems to be saying that while incarcerated people donating blood, which is relatively non-invasive and risk-free to the donor, is just too dangerous for the recipient, taking an organ, which is risky and life altering to the donor, and with the same level of risk for the recipient regarding infectious disease transmission, is completely okay. Because the loss of an organ can be part of the punishment. It’s sick.


Yep - there’s a Larry Niven story about this very thing


The Human Organ Procurement Industry. I wonder if the bill’s presenters and co-sponsors (all Dems, for fucks sake) will show up in the 2023 report. BTW: Aren’t there laws that prohibit body parts (for transplants) from being sold? Couldn’t shaving time off a prison sentence be considered a payment?


Off the top of my head:
Organs are nearly universally not legal to sell. I think there’s maybe 1 country where it’s legal.

Marrow, not sure offhand. Modern techniques are as invasive as blood donation, so it’s probably as problematic as selling plasma.

Plasma OTOH: some places sell, some don’t. UK won’t pay donors, but was paying USA to import freeze-dried plasma products. So was indirectly paying USA-ians.

The health economics also puts $ values on organ donation. Kidney is the safest for a live donor, and the most significant - dialysis is expensive and you can survive on it a long time. Kidney means you live longer, healthier, and don’t need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on dialysis.

So in a few years will we see “donate a few hundred thousand dollars to a hospital, get 60-365 days knocked off your sentence”?


Old history in the US: Make a discrete political donation (or sell property to a relative of a politician at well, well, below market value) then voila… someone gets a pardon.


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