A Litmus Test for Exploitation: James Stacey Taylor's Stakes and Kidneys

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (6):552-572 (2009)
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James Stacy Taylor advances a thorough argument for the legalization of markets in current (live) human kidneys. The market is seemly the most abhorrent type of market, a market where the least well-off sell part of their body to the most well off. Though rigorously defended overall, his arguments concerning exploitation are thin. I examine a number of prominent bioethicists’ account of exploitation: most importantly, Ruth Sample’s exploitation as degradation. I do so in the context of Taylor’s argument, with the aim of buttressing Taylor’s position that a regulated kidney market is morally allowable. I argue that Sample fails to provide normative grounds consistent with her claim that exploitation is wrong. I then reformulate her account for consistency and plausibility. Still, this seemingly more plausible view does not show that Taylor’s regulated kidney market is prohibitively exploitative of impoverished persons. I tack into place one more piece of support for Taylor’s conclusion.



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J. R. Kuntz
University of Edinburgh

Citations of this work

Autonomy and Organ Sales, Revisited.J. S. Taylor - 2009 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 34 (6):632-648.

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References found in this work

Autonomy and behavior control.Gerald Dworkin - 1976 - Hastings Center Report 6 (1):23-28.
Exploitation, Autonomy, and the Case for Organ Sales.Paul M. Hughes - 1998 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 12 (1):89-95.
John Rawls and the Protection of Liberty.Ricardo Blaug - 1986 - Social Theory and Practice 12 (2):241-258.

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