The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, September 9, 1998 -11:
Riding that train
Death row inmate banned
from donating organs
AUSTIN (AP) - A death row
inmate facing execution next month has
been blocked by Texas prison officials
from donating his organs with the help
of Dr. Jack Kevorkian.
Convicted killer Jonathan Nobles is
scheduled to die Oct. 7 for stabbing and
killing two Austin women, Kelly Joan
Farquhar and Mitzi Johnson Nalley
after breaking into their North Austin
home in 1986.
Nobles told the Austin American-
Statesman he is prepared to die for what
he did but also wants to do something
positive after "bringing so much dark-
ness into this world." He insisted the
donation attempt is not a ploy to have
his death sentence commuted.
"People out there who need organs
are more than willing to accept inmate
organs," Nobles said. "There are sins of
commission as well as sins of omission,
and for me not to attempt to do whatev-
er I can that's good is wrong of me."
The Texas Department of Criminal
Justice has an organ donation policy for
inmates that says the state will pay for
transportation to a Galveston hospital
for the surgery and cover the costs of
guarding a prisoner.
But Larry Todd, a spokesperson for
the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, said the policy doesn't apply to
death row inmates.
"Death row inmates are not allowed
to donate organs," Todd said. "We don't
let death row inmates out - end of
Larry Fitzgerald, another spokesper-
son for the prison system, said prison
officials are concerned about the unpre-
dictable nature of both surgery and the
What if there are complications dur-
ing or after surgery? What if a death
row inmate donates a kidney and has*
the other fail, then receives a stay of
Outside the prison walls, no one ii
the "organ-harvesting" world wants to
touch organs from a death row inmate
because of fear of passing on disease,
ethical concerns about taking organs
from condemned inmates and the fear
of public backlash.
The Centers for Disease Control con-
sider inmates a high risk for hepatitis,
the AIDS virus and other communica-
Kevorkian, the Michigan assisted
suicide advocate who has attended
more than 100 deaths, tried to arrange
the donation of one of Nobles' kidneys.,
Belinda Smith of Waterford, Mich, and Debbie Smith of Clarkston lift their baggage as the Amtrak bound for Chicago pulls into
the station in Dearborn yesterday. With the pilot's strike in Its second week, people are finding alternatives to flying.
LAN$ING, Mich. (AP) -
of a loved one need to be
services, Attorney General
as he unveiled a survey sho
"Thy; were taking adva
COeOs," Kelley said of the
lat ion ol federal rules requ
Kelley said the survey, cor
ederal Trade Commission,
epartient and the America
ons, found violations of fede
They were in the Detroit, L
'hebrigs have 30 days to re
$ (( 0, nalty per violation
yhe-_id staff fromrKel
Detroit2iency and volunt
homes to see if a list of fun
casket prices and a lift of
The federal rule requirin
mented ii 1984 aftei inve
presstrc sales tactics were b
of high funeral prices
- People mourning the death services.
wary of high-priced funeral The seven funeral homes found in violation have the option
Frank Kelley said yesterday to enter the Federal Rules Offenders Program, which allows
wing frequent abuses of con- them to make a payment to the U.S. Treasury of state attorney
general and enroll in a compliance program- or face possi-
ntage of the most vulnerable ble legal action.
e funeral homes found in vio- "Every funeral home director has a clear obligation under
iring price disclosure to con- the federal rule to provide specific, detailed and clear infor-
mation to consumers," Kelley said. "The required disclosures
nducted in cooperation with the are designed to assist families and loved ones during the most
the Detroit Consumer Affairs difficult times of their lives, when they have suffered a dev-
an Association of Retired per- astating loss and are the most vulnerable."
ral rules at seven of 42 funeral "When planning a funeral, the bereaved must be provided
with all of the essential information in a format they can
ansing and Grand Rapids area. understand easily and can take with them."
spond to the findings, or face a Officials said there were hundreds of funeral homes in
, officials said. Michigan, and refused to name those found out of compli-
ley's office, the FTC and the ance with federal requirements. They said such names will be
eers from AARP visited the released for homes which refuse to come into compliance and
eral costs, an itemized list of which face penalties.
burial container prices were A spokesperson for the Michigan Funeral Directors
Association said there was no official available to respond to
ig such disclose was imple- Kelley's comments. Telephone calls tor the state mortician
stigations showed that high- and funeral director licensing board were met with busy sig-
eing used to sell unnecessary nals.
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