J Med Ethics 20:26-30 doi:10.1136/jme.20.1.26
  • Research Article

Fault and the allocation of spare organs.

  1. B Smart
  1. Department of Philosophy, Keele University, Staffordshire.


      This paper argues that rectificatory justice should supplement distributive justice in allocating priority of access to scarce medical resources. Where a patient is at fault for the scarcity of healthy organs a principle of restitution requires that she should give priority to the faultless. Such restitution is non-punitive, and is akin to reparation in civil law, not criminal law. However, it is doubtful whether such a principle can be fairly applied within the present culture of governmental complicity in cigarette advertising.