Consent and the Use of the Bodies of the Dead

Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 37 (5):445-463 (2012)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Gametes, tissue, and organs can be taken from the dying or dead for reproduction, transplantation, and research. Whole bodies as well as parts can be used for teaching anatomy. While these uses are diverse, they have an ethical consideration in common: the claims of the people whose bodies are used. Is some use permissible only when people have consented to the use, actually wanted the use, would have wanted the use, not opposed the use, or what? The aim of this article is to make progress in answering these questions. Initially I assume knowledge of people’s desires in order to test whether consent is directly required by their rights without worrying about mistaken uses against their wishes. I claim consent is not directly required by people’s rights. If we know people wanted or would want a use, their rights permit the use, but if we know they wanted or would want not to be used, their rights do not permit the use. The knowledge assumption is then dropped and the question becomes how to decide what to do when the wishes of rightholders are not known. I suggest working out what to do when wishes are known and then adjusting, on the basis of whatever evidence there is, for probability and strength of desire. There are other considerations too, for instance about default rules. The key general comment here is that, in setting rules, the costs to rightholders in not getting what they want needs to be taken into account. The final section tries to show that, in setting these rules, mistaken uses are not to be taken as worse than mistaken failure to use

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,991

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

Presumed consent, autonomy, and organ donation.Michael B. Gill - 2004 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 29 (1):37 – 59.
Posthumous Gamete Collection and Use.Katherine Cameron & Samantha Butts - 2023 - In Louise P. King & Isabelle C. Band (eds.), Case Studies in the Ethics of Assisted Reproduction. Springer Verlag. pp. 79-88.
Legal rights in human bodies, body parts and tissue.Loane Skene - 2007 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 4 (2):129-133.
Normative consent and opt-out organ donation.B. Saunders - 2010 - Journal of Medical Ethics 36 (2):84-87.
Private Talk: Testimony, Evidence, and the Practice Of Anonymization in Research.Suze G. Berkhout - 2013 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 6 (1):19-45.
Parental consent and the use of dead children's bodies.T. M. Wilkinson - 2001 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 11 (4):337-358.
The Case against Conscription of Cadaveric Organs for Transplantation.Walter Glannon - 2008 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 17 (3):330-336.
Answers to five questions.Joshua Knobe - 2009 - In Jesús H. Aguilar & Andrei A. Buckareff (eds.), Philosophy of Action: 5 Questions. Automatic Press.

Analytics

Added to PP
2012-10-25

Downloads
44 (#371,746)

6 months
9 (#356,105)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?