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Clarify Transplant Rules

January 30, 2002

Re ''Prisoner Received Heart Transplant,'' Jan. 26: Perhaps a word to the wise is in order before the inevitable political backlash occurs in Sacramento. First, to the conservatives: Laws to prohibit organ transplants for prisoners will be found unconstitutional, so don't waste the taxpayers' money in an effort to gain a nonexistent political advantage. To the left: The status quo is not acceptable. Law-abiding, free people should have priority for organs before those persons who, by their very actions, have demonstrated their desire to weaken the fabric of society.

We should alter the laws to clarify that prisoners are indeed eligible for organ transplants and that prisoners' priority to receive those transplants will be after that of all the other residents of California who labor to support them.

Thomas A. Burhenn

Sierra Madre

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