Why Organ Conscription Should Be off the Table: Extrapolation from Heidegger’s Being and Time

Sophia 58 (2):153-174 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

The question, what measures to address the shortage of transplantable organs are ethically permissible? requires careful attention because, apart from its impact on medical practice, the stance we espouse here reflects our interpretations of human freedom and mortality. To raise the number of available organs, on utilitarian grounds, bioethicists and medical professionals increasingly support mandatory procurement. This view is at odds with the Catechism of the Catholic Church, according to which ‘[o]rgan donation after death is a noble and meritorious act’ but ethically impermissible absent consent. Those who concur with this position, but would oppose conscription on independent philosophical grounds, have not yet found a voice in the Western tradition comparable in strength to the utilitarian basis of the policy’s support, for Kantian and Aristotelian ethics, too, lend themselves to a requirement that we make our organs available to others when they can no longer serve ourselves. One finds an ethical wedge against conscription in an unexpected philosophical locale: the ‘fundamental ontology’ of Heidegger’s Being and Time, where pertinent individual choices arc protectively over what happens post mortem. Heidegger’s perspective on this issue thus meshes, not with other philosophical voices, but with Catholic doctrine—a surprising convergence of atheistic and theistic approaches to our flourishing whose ground I address in the article’s conclusion.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,347

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Conscription of Cadaveric Organs for Transplantation: Neglected Again.Aaron Spital - 2003 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 13 (2):169-174.
The Case against Conscription of Cadaveric Organs for Transplantation.Walter Glannon - 2008 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 17 (3):330-336.
Mandatory Autopsies and Organ Conscription.David Hershenov - 2009 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 19 (4):367-391.
The Dead Donor Rule: Can It Withstand Critical Scrutiny?F. G. Miller, R. D. Truog & D. W. Brock - 2010 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 35 (3):299-312.

Analytics

Added to PP
2017-06-01

Downloads
56 (#287,642)

6 months
16 (#161,844)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Susan B. Levin
Smith College

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Nicomachean ethics. Aristotle - 1999 - New York: Clarendon Press. Edited by Michael Pakaluk. Translated by Michael Pakaluk.
The metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1797/1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mary J. Gregor.
Sein und Zeit.Martin Heidegger - 1928 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 7:161-161.

View all 54 references / Add more references