Accused Killer Who Botched His Own Suicide Gets Liver Transplant

UPDATE: 7/28: The New York Post has RETRACTED the original story:

“In Monday’s editions of the New York Post, we published a story that confessed wife-killer Johnny Concepcion underwent a liver-transplant operation at New York-Presbyterian Hospital.

The hospital yesterday issued a statement that no such operation took place. The Post relied on two NYPD sources for its report, and it is now evident they were misinformed. We apologize to our readers for the error.

Prior to publishing the story, The Post sought official response from New York-Presbyterian. The Post was denied information by the hospital, which stated it could not discuss individual cases because it would be in breach of the Health Information Privacy Act (HIPA).

Curiously, the hospital now sees itself free to publicly discuss Concepcion’s case.”

This was also noted on MSNBC. Any further updates or clarifications will be posted here.

He’s accused of stabbing his wife to death, then attempting suicide by ingesting rat poison, and he’s just received a liver transplant.

MSNBC reports that 42-year old Johnny Concepcion received his new liver at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center in New York. His 36 year-old wife was stabbed at least 15 times after the pair separated and she won custody of their three children. Witnesses identified him as the man they saw leaving the scene.

The liver failure came after the accused killer led police on a manhunt, then swallowed rat poison. A witness called 911 and he ended up in the hospital with liver failure. He is now back in jail — with his new liver — awaiting murder charges.

According to the New York Post, there are 1,805 people currently on the state’s liver transplant list, 485 of them have been on the list for more than five years, and 50 candidates have died so far this year waiting for an organ. Many of these are children.

Organ donations are not based on a moral judgement of the patient, but on medical criteria — who is most in need of a matching organ.

That a man who is reported as having confessed to murdering his wife, then destroying his own liver in a botched suicide attempt in order to escape justice would receive this precious life-saving organ feels outrageously unjust. Just imagine being toward the top of that waiting list and learning where this particular liver went, or imagine having a child on that waiting list.

The question about how organ donation should be handled is a tricky one, though. Would you deny an organ transplant to someone who confessed to or was convicted of murder? I suspect most of us would feel that way, but how about someone merely accused of the crime? Should all people who attempt suicide be denied a transplant?

What moral judgements should come into play… and who should have the power to decide them?

I hate to think of this situation giving organ donation a bad name and discouraging donation. Please take a moment to comment on the important issue of organ donation and where you believe the ethical lines should be drawn.


Photo courtesy of and Pete Linforth


Ellyn L.
Ellen L6 years ago

Makes you wonder who died while awaiting a liver given to him! It is not right.

Anthony O.
Anthony O.6 years ago

He's human. Anyone who would deny him a liver transplant and watch, even sadistically enjoy, his suffering is an evil anti-human monster.

beverly g.
beverly g.7 years ago

thats disgusting. They shuda let him die. He dont deserve a transplant. That shuda bin for someone more deserving of it. This is one sick world its becoming.

Hannah H.
Hannah H7 years ago


Barb F.
Barb F7 years ago

@ Lindsey DTSW,
Yes, I am an innocent civilian, but in that I have not been falsely accused of a crime and incarcerated, the law is written such that the incarcerated are given more rights than the law abiding citizen. It is that slanted and ass backwards law that renders myself to a prison that the confining bars of the proverbial cell are not visible. In the invisible prison in which I dwell, there is no solid food, no time involving more than few and cautious literal steps taken, physical movement that is not statue like is excruiating, all doctors have been removed, no such luxury as an appointed representative to plead my case, as myself and others in this prison denied treatment see it, the incarcerated are living a most excellent life with superior rights mandated they recieve. Perhaps in your capacity as a "Promote physician aid-in-dying" advocate, in your profile, you can provide the name of a doctor who would somehow make this prison less agonizing in some way. Please do not suggest your passion of single malt scotch, I do not drink, to be kept in mind if ever you would face being on a donor list, that could work against you. Murder, witnesses, police chase, failed suicide attempt, confession given, in your scenarios of maybe's, the suicide attempt was due to ?, . Would you feel the same if the victim was your loved one? Are you related to the accused? She had loved ones too, perhaps I'll go get ordained online for free as you did, ordained atheist? hmmmm

Cyn G.
C. G7 years ago


Lindsey DTSW
.7 years ago

Barb F, you say, "...this man having been identified by witnesses and confessing, the process of a trial is a technicality..."

No trial is EVER merely a technicality. Because witness statements and identifications are often found to be in error (or can be thrown into doubt at trial). And false confessions have at times been coerced by police. Or the alleged perpetrator might have been drunk or high on drugs and made a false confession (people say and do stupid things when they're not in control of their thought processes). And genuine confessions have sometimes been illegally obtained which have to be thrown out at trial.

For so many reasons, our society reasonably insists that an accused criminal is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. And we cannot and should not deny a legally-innocent person the same rights when it comes to things such as transplants as any other innocent person in society.

From what we've read, if the facts are correct this man is, in my opinion, very likely the guilty party. But until he either pleads guilty in court or is found guilty at trial he is still legally innocent. And if you are ever accused of a crime, I have a strong suspicion that you're going to be very grateful for the concept of presumption of innocence until guilt is proved by the state.

Barb F.
Barb F7 years ago

Seeing this as simply SO wrong for the following reasons, 1. Those who have blown their livers from alcoholism are not permitted to recieve donor organs until they've proven sobriety for a specific time frame, this man having been identified by witnesses and confessing, the process of a trial is a technicality, a brutal murderer with no regard for life of others. The ingestion of rat poison that blew out his liver, they should've let the SOB die, handed him another box of rat poison and whatever liquid to wash it down if he'd not ingested enough to perish ASAP from the act. No more than the alcoholic get a liver transplant should he ever have been put on any list, in his case, not ever, no waiting period of living healthy. The issue of taxpayer dollars funding medical treatment for inmates when the person who is not a criminal is denied necessary or elective medical treatment for quality of life reasons, this is something that is beyond infuriating. Those put on a donor list who are passed over so that someone deemed more important for the wrong reasons or of more financial wealth is appalling. I am a person being denied necessary medical treatment, a life threatening situation it is, via HMO "not cost effective" rules being the reason. It's been suggested to me that I commit a crime, as being an inmate, I'd get the medical treatment without question. The organ donor program and law of treatments given needs stringent unbreakable requirements, murderers not included

Hanan W.
Hana W7 years ago

Further, having a transplant does not guarantee a healthy and easy life...

Hanan W.
Hana W7 years ago

Clearly this is an ethical issue, most thought-provoking. I do not think we can afford to decide who is worthy or unworthy of a life-saving measure despite what they have done. Let the legal system do their job. Let us be compassionate human beings who realized that as long as their is life a person can recognize past wrong and turn their lives around.