PROVIDENCE, R.I.—A 27-year-old Rhode Island prison inmate has received a liver transplant.
The Providence Journal reports ( http://bit.ly/MaXNyl) the procedure was performed last week in Boston on 27-year-old Jose Pacheco, who is serving a 6 1/2-year prison sentence for robbery.
The operation was paid for by the state of Rhode Island and the federal Medicare program.
Corrections Department spokeswoman Tracey Zeckhausen says it was the first organ transplant performed on a Rhode Island prisoner. Zeckhausen did not have a cost estimate.
The state is required to provide the care under a 1975 U.S. Supreme Court ruling which found that denying prisoners required medical treatment amounts to cruel and unusual punishment.
Pacheco was sentenced in June 2011 after pleading no contest to second-degree robbery, possession of stolen car parts and conspiracy.
Information from: The Providence Journal, http://www.providencejournal.com