The Morality of Kidney Sales: When Caring for the Seller’s Dignity Has Moral Costs

Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 20 (1):139-152 (2023)
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Abstract

Kidney markets are prohibited in principle because they are assumed to undermine the seller’s dignity. Considering the trade-off between saving more lives by introducing regulated kidney markets and preserving the seller’s dignity, we argue that it is advisable to demand that citizens restrain their own moral judgements and not interfere with the judgements of those who are willing to sell a kidney. We also argue that it is advisable not only to limit the political implications of the moral argument of dignity concerns toward a market-based solution but also to re-evaluate the dignity argument itself. First, if the dignity argument is to be given normative force, it must also consider the dignity violation of the potential transplant recipient. Second, there seems to be no compelling notion of dignity that demonstrates why it is morally permissible to donate but not to sell a kidney.

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Citations of this work

Efficiency and the futures market in organs.Andreas Albertsen - 2023 - Monash Bioethics Review 41 (1):66-81.
“The Danger of Words”: Language Games in Bioethics.Michael A. Ashby - 2023 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 20 (1):1-5.

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References found in this work

Political Liberalism.J. Rawls - 1995 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 57 (3):596-598.
Nephrarious Goings On: Kidney Sales and Moral Arguments.J. R. Richards - 1996 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 21 (4):375-416.
Kidney for Sale by Owner.Mark J. Cherry - 2017 - International Journal of Applied Philosophy 31 (2):171-187.

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