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Organ transplants for illegal immigrants

Posted Jun 18 2009 1:51pm
A Los Angeles Times story highlights a controversial issue: should illegal immigrants receive organ transplants in the U.S. and should taxpayers pick up the cost?

The story presents arguments from both sides of this issue:

"All transplants are about rationing," said Roy Beck, executive director of NumbersUSA, which favors stricter controls on immigration. "I just don't think the public ought to be funding any kind of benefits for people who are breaking the law."

But Dr. Michael Shapiro, vice chairman of the ethics committee for the organ network, said illegal immigrants have just as much right to organ transplants as U.S. citizens. He said it is likely that more illegal immigrants donate organs than receive them. "People are people, and when you make an incision in an organ donor, you don't find little American flags planted on their organs," Shapiro said.

If there were more organ donors, this issue wouldn't be so controversial.

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