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How to Treat Persons$
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Samuel J. Kerstein

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199692033

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.001.0001

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Markets in Kidneys

Markets in Kidneys

Chapter:
(p.171) 7 Markets in Kidneys
Source:
How to Treat Persons
Author(s):

Samuel J. Kerstein

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199692033.003.0007

This chapter applies Kantian principles to the issue of the moral permissibility of “live donor” kidney transplantation—specifically cases in which, in exchange for money, someone undergoes a kidney extraction. The chapter specifies contexts (e.g. “transplant tourism”) in which such market exchange of kidneys often involves a failure to respect the dignity of persons, according both to an orthodox Kantian account of dignity and to a newly developed one. The chapter also examines market exchange in light of the notion, familiar in bioethics, that autonomy has intrinsic value. The chapter argues that if, in a Kantian spirit, one values autonomy, then one should be wary of markets in organs. The chapter argues that market exchange of kidneys—even consensual, legal, and regulated exchange that would increase the number of kidneys available for transplant—would often be morally wrong. The chapter briefly considers alternative means of reducing the current shortage of organs.

Keywords:   autonomy, dignity, kidney transplantation, live donor, organ market, regulated market, transplant tourism

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