A former Cayuga County resident serving an 18- to 40-year state prison sentence for rape and sodomy is on a heart donor list and is undergoing a heart transplant evaluation at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

According to officials with Mercy Flight Central, Coxsackie Correctional Facility inmate Kenneth L. Pike was flown from Albany to Rochester Monday, and hospital officials confirmed that a Kenneth Pike is at the hospital and is listed in guarded condition.

Theresa Breezee, Pike's niece, said Pike is being evaluated for a heart transplant and will most likely die without the procedure.

Pike, 55, has already been treated for at least one heart attack, has a pacemaker and underwent a triple-bypass within the past month, Breezee said.

It was not immediately clear how much the procedure would cost the state if it is conducted.

Pike was convicted at trial in Cayuga County Court in 1996 of first degree rape, first-degree sodomy and third-degree rape for raping and sodomizing a 12-year-old child.

According to DOCCS, Pike is eligible for parole in November 2013, and his latest release date is set for November 2035.

The United Network for Organ Sharing, which oversees the nation's organ transplant system, said federal laws prohibits the organization from discriminating against patients based on non-medical conditions, such as their criminal record or incarceration status. But local transplant organizations and the state can set their own guidelines, a UNOS spokesman said. Many medical professionals believe that such guidelines can create ethical problems that go beyond a person's medical needs.

Officials with the state Department of Correctional and Community Services said federal medical privacy laws prevent them from talking about specific cases, but noted that four inmates have received organ transplants in the past. Seven others have received bone marrow transplants.

In a written statement, Strong Memorial Hospital officials said, "As a provider of health care to a large and diverse population, we have an ethical responsibility to treat everyone who comes to us in need of care. Strong Memorial Hospital doctors, nurses and staff members are committed to providing that care without discrimination. We believe in and follow the organ allocation policies and guidelines of the federally regulated OPTN/United Network for Organ Sharing, which ensure equal consideration for transplantation and access to donated organs."

Breezee understood that some people are mad that their taxes could pay for her uncle's procedure if it's ultimately conducted, but added her uncle should not be denied medical treatment because of his criminal record.

"I think he should be treated just like anyone else," Breezee said. "Even though he is an inmate he shouldn't be denied treatment -- he is still a human being. And my family will also be paying since our taxes will be going to his treatment, too."

State Sen. Michael Nozzolio, who chairs the Senate's Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee, said he believes inmates should have to pay for a portion of their medical treatment through a co-payment system similar to ones used in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, California and the federal prison system.

Nozzolio, whose district includes part of Cayuga County, said a co-payment system would save taxpayer money by preventing frivolous medical treatment and could save the state hundreds of millions of dollars a year in medical expenses.

In cases of transplants, Nozzolio said there are other issues the state needs to look at such as whether there are any other possibly non-incarcerated recipients who were examined first before an inmate receives a transplant.

(17) comments

coach53

When a person is conficted of a crime and incarcerated they lose certain rights such as the right to vote, own and bear arms and other priviledges based on their crime(s). Is it not to far fetched to make some conditions for these types of medical procedures. Do we give a lifer who has prayed on society a second chance by receiving an organ transplant. This is a complicated question. But I believe that in many cases a set a pre determined factors should be taken into consideration. I personally do not believe that a conficted felon serving time should go ahead of a citizen that is not incarcerated. I am listed as a organ donor but I would not want one such as Mr. Pike receiving any of my organs.

Oa
Oa

They can't discriminate? Transplant docs discriminate against drinkers and smokers all the time. I guess smoking and drinking must be worse than raping a child in their eyes. Grrrr.

interested

This is what is wrong with our Country. This story is sickening. How does this inmate have any rights? How can he possibly be up for parole? WHY IS HE BEING EVALUATED FOR A HEART TRANSPLANT? I am so frustrated by this story. I can't believe that the STATE would have to pay for the medical costs. The tax payers suffer enough because of people like this. Let's just pray that whoever makes the decision keeps the innocent tax payers as well as what this monster did in mind when the decision is being made.

Farmer's Gal
Farmer's Gal

Does the family of the donor know? Certainly isn't what one envisions when one signs up to be an organ donor, saving the life of someone who raped and sodomized a child and who really should never be let out from behind bars.

KayCee

Well, hopefully he will get his new heart and be paroled for good behavior....just in time to enter the mayoral race. He'd fit right in.

Farmer's Gal
Farmer's Gal

At the very least, donors ought to be able to have a say -- something generic, like, my organs are not to be donated to any convicted criminals of violent crimes....

mymy42895

[quote]interested said: "This is what is wrong with our Country. This story is sickening. How does this inmate have any rights? How can he possibly be up for parole? WHY IS HE BEING EVALUATED FOR A HEART TRANSPLANT? I am so frustrated by this story. I can't believe that the STATE would have to pay for the medical costs. The tax payers suffer enough because of people like this. Let's just pray that whoever makes the decision keeps the innocent tax payers as well as what this monster did in mind when the decision is being made. "[/quote]

mymy42895

i agree he shouldnt get a new heart, y look what he did to that child.

mymy42895

[quote]coach53 said: "When a person is conficted of a crime and incarcerated they lose certain rights such as the right to vote, own and bear arms and other priviledges based on their crime(s). Is it not to far fetched to make some conditions for these types of medical procedures. Do we give a lifer who has prayed on society a second chance by receiving an organ transplant. This is a complicated question. But I believe that in many cases a set a pre determined factors should be taken into consideration. I personally do not believe that a conficted felon serving time should go ahead of a citizen that is not incarcerated. I am listed as a organ donor but I would not want one such as Mr. Pike receiving any of my organs. "[/quote]
i would not give him my orgens either. hes where he belongs give the heart to someone who deserves it and who is not in jail.

mymy42895

[quote]interested said: "This is what is wrong with our Country. This story is sickening. How does this inmate have any rights? How can he possibly be up for parole? WHY IS HE BEING EVALUATED FOR A HEART TRANSPLANT? I am so frustrated by this story. I can't believe that the STATE would have to pay for the medical costs. The tax payers suffer enough because of people like this. Let's just pray that whoever makes the decision keeps the innocent tax payers as well as what this monster did in mind when the decision is being made. "[/quote]
he dont deserve the heart. y so he can get out and do it all over again. hes sick let him die for what he did.

thinksensibly

This is beyond painful for the good hard working, caring people in this country. What is deplorable is how many these good people (elderly, adults and children alike) are in medical need but recently unemployed, without health insurance and do not have the "benefit" of being incarcerated to receive such state benefits? Our government refuses to help our law-obiding, taxpayers, but we put a child-abusing sex offender on a donor priority list? That 12 year old child has never and will never have an opportunity for a transplant to rehabilitate the horror endured at this person's conscious choice. I'm sure that if the law obiding citizens ever had a choice about these specific types of things in an election, there would be no stories like this.

get_real_

This is completely unbelievable to me. He RAPES a 12 year old child, and now he will be receiving an organ (that is so hard to come by) to extend HIS life? Think of all of the others on the waiting list. Respectable & law abiding people.
Think of your taxes going to help support this operation and his after care. Think of the victim. How is this person doing? Has this person received any support - in any fashion-since the day this outrageous crime took place? I heard recently that NYS is going to soon make it mandatory, on our driver's license, to check the box re: organ donation. Let's all hope they have a box for "Do you want your organs to go to a convicted criminal?"

dingaling

What is wrong with this country. This guy rapes a twelve year old and he might get a new heart an we have to pay. There are a lot of more people who need it. I am listed as an organ donor and my family knows to specify that a criminal is not to get any organs. It's a shame we have to specify but why should criminals have any rights.

happyfamily22911

well. i understand the right to life. but i also understand the inability to pay also. and why should inmates have more rights than citizens. i am hopping mad about the fact he is even getting considered. when my wife dies of concer last year because we didn't have enough money for treatment. so long cya right? and how will the woman he raped feel about that. put inmates on medicaid and see if he gets that heart. or his family thinks he should get it. the neice says. i pay taxes too it's like i am paying too. bull. pay the bulk of it or the hearendess copay. would the person he got the heart from be able to rest in peace. if he wer to get parolled and attack another woman? and who would feel the remorse. the ones that oked the transplant? really? and of course he would get bumped to the top of the list. because drs will be gauranteed payment. so someone else, active in the community would possibly die for it. i don't get it. that's a tough one. and did the woman he rape have rights?

gman

I would figure a guy who rapes a 12 year old is heartless why does he need a transplant?

movedsouth
movedsouth

OK, the rapist refused the transplant, you people happy that he may die? I'm not familiar with the case, but I question what dollar value, and/or crime you put on health care for criminals. Should we refuse all medical care to those in prison, especially the rapists and murderers? Maybe short of murder and rape we should limit health care to $10,000. Come on folks, you had no problem saying NO, what's your thoughts?

Sleeper10

Granted convicts have thier rights, but come on now.. The guy raped a 12 year old girl and now that his health is at risk we are going to cater to him even more and let him have a transplant? Wow i really love this state, we are paying for him to be taken care of now which cost a fortune and now this on top of it. Sorry if I sound heartless but its a waste of more money and peoples time to take care of and cater a scumbag.We cant even help people who are jobless find jobs but we are going to jump to help a rapist have a surgery.. Something is really wrong with this picture.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.