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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

The Future of Altruistic Medicine

(p.488) 14.1 Primary Topic Article
The Future of Bioethics

Jacqueline J. L. Chin

Oxford University Press

This essay takes up suggestions by David Steinberg for closer ethical scrutiny of the complex idea of altruism in contemporary medicine. As Steinberg observes, altruism is debated in a wide range of medical contexts, including voluntary participation of healthy persons in clinical trials; donation of blood, organs, stem cells, gametes and genetic materials; and medical professionalism in the care of patients. It is defined by many issues and is in many instances not an unmitigated good. This essay explores possibilities for altruistic medicine by presenting a case study in the challenging arena of transplant tourism. The ethics of cross-border transplantation combines the problems of globalization, commercialization, and the increasing bodily invasion that is entailed by modern medicine. Along with the enduring question of altruism in medicine, these can be expected to remain live issues in the next fifty years.

Keywords:   contemporary altruism, acceptable risk, solicitation, harm prevention, allocation of benefits

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