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The Future of BioethicsInternational Dialogues$
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Akira Akabayashi

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199682676

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 October 2021

Primary Topic Article

Primary Topic Article

Trafficking and Markets in Kidneys: Two Poor Solutions to a Pressing Problem

(p.407) 12.1 Primary Topic Article
The Future of Bioethics

Arthur L. Caplan

Oxford University Press

Trafficking is a major source of kidneys for transplant in the world today. This practice involving the exploitation and even murder of organ sources is ethically indefensible. Some argue that a regulated market would be far more preferable. It would not. There is no evidence that a market would increase the supply of kidneys, it does nothing for other vital organs and it is almost certain that a market could not be regulated. Selling organs, even in a tightly regulated market, violates the existing bioethical framework of respect for persons since the sale is clearly being driven by only by profit. It also violates, in the case of living persons, the ethics of medicine itself. The core ethical norm of the medical profession is the principle, “Do no harm.” The only way that removing an organ from a living person is morally defensible is if the donor chooses to undergo the harm of surgery solely to help another; not to make money. The creation of commerce in body parts puts medicine in the position of removing body parts from people solely to abet those people’s interest in securing compensation as well as to let middle-men profit

Keywords:   Organ trafficking, exploitation, markets in organs, altruism, Do no harm, respect for persons

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