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Organs as inheritable property?
  1. Teck Chuan Voo1,
  2. Soren Holm2
  1. 1Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
  2. 2Centre for Social Ethics and Policy, School of Law, The University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Teck Chuan Voo, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, 119228 Singapore; medvtc{at}nus.edu.sg

Abstract

It has been argued that organs should be treated as individual tradable property like other material possessions and assets, on the basis that this would promote individual freedom and increase efficiency in addressing the shortage of organs for transplantation. If organs are to be treated as property, should they be inheritable? This paper seeks to contribute to the idea of organs as inheritable property by providing a defence of a default of the family of a dead person as inheritors of transplantable organs. In the course of discussion, various succession rules for organs and their justifications will be suggested. We then consider two objections to organs as inheritable property. Our intention here is to provoke further thought on whether ownership of one's body parts should be assimilated to property ownership.

  • Donation/Procurement of Organs/Tissues
  • Transplantation
  • Ownership
  • Allocation of Organs/Tissues
  • Rights

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