Good news for all of us who don't like thorny ethical issues! The convicted rapist who was set to get an expensive heart transplant on the taxpayers' dime has decided he doesn't want it, sparing us all a very sad debate over how much medical care people in prisons should receive.
Kenneth Pike, who is serving an 18- to 40-year sentence for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1996, was all set to receive a $800,000 operation that would give him a new heart and, most likely save his life. The fee, of course, would have been paid by the government, which is the sort of thing that makes people mad, for reasonable reasons.
Luckily, after a bunch of people did in fact get mad, Pike has decided he doesn't want the transplant any more! Thus freeing us from this uncomfortable discussion:
"Why should I pay for a rapist's operation?"
"Well, that's like saying you don't want prisons to provide medical care, if you think about it. Which the Supreme Court ruled years ago they have to do."
"OK, true. But why is it 100% paid for? Even I don't have that kind of insurance."
"Yeah. I mean, I don't like being on the side of the criminals here, but you also have a job that pays you, which most prisoners don't have?"
"OK, but since they are guaranteed to be able to pay for every operation, doesn't that put criminals atop law-abiding poor people on transplant lists?"
"Yeah..." (via ABC News)