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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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Commentary

Commentary

Altruism in Organ Donation: Would Reciprocity Offer an Alternative Explanation?

Chapter:
(p.511) 14.4 Commentary
Source:
The Future of Bioethics
Author(s):

Mala Ramanathan

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199682676.003.0067

Organ donation for transplantation constitutes a social contract between citizens in Singapore. This social contract can be enforced by making waiting lists for organs for citizens who opt out of donation a lower priority. In these circumstances, it would be intriguing to examine whether altruism alone is required for organ donation. The shared social value of reciprocity in Asian societies may also lend itself as an explanation. As the identity of those who will require organs is unpredictable, this can also constitute a risk aversion strategy across kinship ties and generations. Organ donation following a death could potentially bring moral merit to the donor and benefit of donations which occur across kinship ties and generations.

Keywords:   Organ donation, altruism, reciprocity, moral merit

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