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J Med Ethics 29:141 doi:10.1136/jme.29.3.141
  • Debate
  • Controversy

Janet Radcliffe Richards on our modest proposal

  1. Charles A Erin,
  2. John Harris
  1. Institute of Medicine, Law and Bioethics, School of Law, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PL, UK John.M.Harris@man.ac.uk
    • Accepted 13 September 2002
    • Revised 13 September 2002

    Janet Radcliffe Richards is as always to the point and radical. We agree with her that “if it is presumptively bad to prevent sales altogether because lives will be lost . . . it is for the same reason presumptively bad to restrict the selling of organs”. Her complaint against our paper is that we are unnecessarily restrictive. John Harris indeed has argued that there are no sound ethical or philosophical reasons for objecting on principle to the sale of live tissue and organs.1 If a scheme can be devised …