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`The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
All on a summer day:
The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
And took them quite away!'
--Part of a traditional nursery rhyme, quoted in Lewis Carroll,
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Chapter 11.
Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling
very curious to see what the next witness...
Alice watched the White Rabbit as he fumbled over the list, feeling
very curious to see what the next witness would be like, `--for they
haven't got much evidence YET,' she said to herself.
--Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventure’s in Wonderland, Chapter 11.
In the complete version of the traditional nursery rhyme part of
which is quoted above the Knave of Hearts is found guilty of wrongdoing,
and beaten for this by the King of Hearts. In quoting the full version of
this rhyme as the epigraph to the letter that she wrote in response to my
article “A Queen of Hearts trial of organ markets: why Scheper-Hughes’s
objections to markets in human organs fail,” Professor Scheper-Hughes
seems to be implying that I, as the Knave, am guilty of wrongdoing—in
particular, of mischaracterizing her position. In what follows, however, I
will show that, just like the charges leveled against the Knave in Alice’s
Adventure’s in Wonderland, there is no evidence for the charges that
Professor Scheper-Hughes levels against me.
Professor Scheper-Hughes is right to note that I claim that she
mischaracterizes the pro-market position, but she is wrong to claim in
response that “the reverse is the case”. Although, for reasons that I will
outline below, it is difficult to know whether we should take Professor
Scheper-Hughes’s claims at face value, if we do so here we should
understand Professor Scheper-Hughes as claiming both that she does not
mischaracterize the views of persons who favour markets in human organs,
and that I have mischaracterized her views. Let me address these claims in
In my article I note that her claim that those who defend markets in
human organs presuppose that persons have a right to purchase life in the
form of human organs is mistaken, for “not all who advocate such a market
believe that people have a right to buy” (2007, p. 201). In response to my
charge Professor Scheper-Hughes notes that “a great many pro-market
scholars and bioethicists, including Janet Radcliffe -Richards , Abdullah
Daar , and Arthur Matas have defend a 'right to buy and to sell organs'
based on principle of individual liberty and autonomy”. But noting this
does nothing to undermine my claim that she was mistaken to claim that all
proponents of markets in human organs defend such a right. That some
persons who support such markets do does not show that all do. Professor
Scheper-Hughes also holds that a “right to buy” might function implicitly
in the arguments that Mark J. Cherry and I offer in favour of markets in
human kidneys. While I cannot speak for Cherry, I can reiterate a point
from my “Queen of Hearts” article; that “we can hold that it is morally
permissible for a person to offer to buy an organ from another to save his
or her own life, without thereby holding that people have the right to
make such offers to buy, for we can hold that such offers are permissible
while denying the existence of rights” (2007, p. 202). Since I made it
clear in that article that my arguments in my book Stakes and Kidneys: Why
markets in human organs are morally imperative had a broadly utilitarian
basis it should also be clear that rights play no role in them. As such,
then, my charge that Professor Scheper-Hughes has mischaracterized the
views of the proponents of markets in human organs stands.
What, then, of her charge that I have mischaracterized her position?
Professor Scheper-Hughes claims that her arguments “are not with moral
philosophers and academic bio-ethicists,” but “with the organs brokers,
kidney buyers, medical insurance companies and rogue surgeons involved in
illegal transplants with organs procured through unregulated black
markets,” and “with Ministries of Health, medical credentialing boards,
international transplant societies and policing institutions that have
generally failed to interrupt, correct, disbar, and/or prosecute those
involved in breaking existing laws as well as international regulations”.
There are three points to be made with respect to this response. First,
Professor Scheper-Hughes seems to concede my point that she sentences
markets in human organs “to moral condemnation before considering the
arguments for them” (2007, p.201). Rather than supporting her claim that I
have mischaracterized her position, then, her response seems instead to
undermine it. Second, Professor Scheper-Hughes’s claim that her arguments
are not typically with academic bioethicists is unfounded. To be sure, as
I note above, she does not often engage with their arguments. But even in
her articles that are not written as ethical debates or as reviews of
books on bioethics she does write as though her work is critical of
theirs. Of the eight anthropological articles written by Professor Scheper
-Hughes that I cite in my article, seven include explicit criticisms of
academic bioethicists as being unable “to break ranks with powerful
biomedical and pharmaceutical interests,” (2004, p.59) and of adhering to
a discipline “which has been finely calibrated to meet the needs of
advanced biomedicine/ biotechnologies and the desires of postmodern
medical consumers” (2003g, p.204). Indeed, Professor Scheper-Hughes
approvingly quotes Francis Fukuyama’s claim that the “community of
bioethicists” has “grown up in tandem with the biotech industry” and is at
times “nothing more than sophisticated (and sophistic) justifiers of
whatever it is the scientific community wants to do”. (2004d, p.204). To
claim that her arguments are “not with or about” academic bioethics is
thus disingenuous. Third, even if we grant to Professor Scheper-Hughes
that her arguments are typically addressed only to those persons who are
engaged in, or who enable, black markets in human organs, this does not
salvage any part of her anti-market stance. Almost no one, whether pro-or
anti-market, would defend the fraudulent and coercive practices that her
research has exposed. As such, if her arguments are only leveled against
such practices unless she explicitly notes otherwise, then they are simply
orthogonal to the mainstream debate concerning whether or not markets in
human organs should be legalized.
2. The Language of Deconstruction
In Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass Humpty Dumpty said
that when he used a word “it means just what I choose it to mean --
neither more nor less.” Professor Scheper-Hughes seems to have adopted the
same policy towards words in her earlier work concerning the shortage of
available transplant organs. The most natural reading of Professor Scheper
-Hughes’s claims that the current scarcity of transplant organs is
“invented” and “artificial” is that she believes that it is not real—and
hence that there is less of a medical need for transplant organs than is
generally believed. This is the claim that I criticized in my article. I
am pleased to see that Professor Scheper-Hughes has now clarified her
position here, using the language of English rather than “the language of
deconstruction” to do so, and acknowledges the very real and pressing
shortage of organs available for transplantation.
Although it is not a response to my claims, it is worth noting that
Professor Scheper-Hughes’s concerns about the “futility” of transplanting
organs into people over 70 years old are misplaced. In a recent article in
Transplantation Rao et al. showed that such transplant recipients had a
41% lower overall risk of death than did wait-listed candidates—figures
that show that their organ transplants were hardly futile.
3. Concentration camps and invisible sacrifice
Professor Scheper-Hughes claims that I mischaracterized her views
concerning presumed consent, noting that she never equated “deviant or at
best semi-legal practices in public morgues with organized, normative and
transparent policies of presumed consent (opting out) as exist in central
Europe and as was attempted (in good faith) in Brazil in 1997”. However,
just as Professor Scheper-Hughes never equated deviant practices in public
morgues with transparent policies of presumed consent, I never claimed
that she did. Rather, I noted in my article that she compared “the use of
policies of presumed consent…with the atrocities that ‘highly deviant
authoritarian and police states’ have visited upon their citizens”. In
support of this claim I quoted the following passage from Professor
Scheper-Hughes’s article “The end of the body”: “Until very recently, only
highly deviant authoritarian and police states—Nazi Germany, Argentina in
the 1960s and 1970s, and South Africa under apartheid—had assumed this
capacity in the 20th century…” (2003, p.110). The “capacity” mentioned in
this passage was the capacity “to define and determine the hour of death
and to claim…the ‘first rights’… to the disposal of the body parts” (2003,
p.110)—a capacity, that is, of states to secure parts of the bodies of its
recently-deceased citizens, such as through policies of presumed consent.
Immediately following this quoted passage Professor Scheper-Hughes wrote
that “The ‘democratization’ of practices bearing at least some family
resemblance to these (i.e., the ‘living dead’ maintained in intensive care
units for the purposes of organ retrieval) in neo-liberal states has
generally occurred in the absence of public outrage or resistence, with
the possible exception of public unrest following democratic Brazils’
[sic] passage of its authoritarian law of ‘presumed consent’ to organ
donation in 1997…” (2003, p.110). Unless these passages too are written
“in the language of deconstruction” and thus do not mean what they mean in
the language of English, it clear that Professor Scheper-Hughes was
comparing the institution of polices of presumed consent in liberal
democracies to the actions of deviant police states. My claim that she did
so is thus an accurate one.
In fairness, however, it should be noted that Professor Scheper-
Hughes has now defended the institution of policies of presumed consent,
in at least one article (published, incidentally, after mine appeared).
This, though, seems to be reversal of her earlier position—just as she has
now altered her characterization of Brazil’s institution of a policy of
4. The trade in living organs
Professor Scheper-Hughes claims that I “leap” from her “discussions
of tissues harvesting from the dead to living, voluntary sale of organs”.
But, as I make clear in my article, this move is hers, not mine. In her
article “The End of the Body”, from which the above quotations concerning
“deviant authoritarian and police states” come, Professor Scheper-Hughes
moves from this characterization of the types of society that try to
reduce their waiting lists using policies of presumed consent, to a
discussion of using markets to reduce organ waiting lists. As I note in my
article, it appears that she is trying to tar all such methods of organ
procurement with the same brush. The purpose of my discussion of her segue
here is simply to note that “there is a vast ethical gulf” between forcing
persons to perform certain actions, and the voluntary transactions of a
marketplace free from coercion and fraud.
Professor Scheper-Hughes challenges me to provide evidence for my
assertion that “voluntary trades in human organs that take place between
consenting adults, untainted by force or fraud, make all parties to them
better off,” noting that “[t]o date, however, all empirical studies of
living kidney donors indicate varying degrees of coercion, deception,
feelings of exploitation, shame, and resentment following arranged kidney
sales”. There are three responses to this. First, none of the empirical
studies she refers to concern markets “untainted by force or fraud”. As
such, they are irrelevant to my claim. Second, Professor Scheper-Hughes
need only look around her to find indirect evidence for my claim. It is
simply undeniable that voluntary market transactions typically make all
parties to them better off; this is precisely why the parties to them
transacted in the first place. To be sure, we might not have direct
evidence of this with respect to markets in human organs—but that is only
because persons such as Professor Scheper-Hughes have succeeded in
coercively prohibiting persons who wish to engage in a legal and properly
regulated market in them from doing so. Finally, it should be noted that
to advocate the continued prohibition of a properly regulated market in a
good, and then to justify one’s position on the grounds that there is no
empirical evidence to show that it could function ethically for no such
market currently exists, is more than a little Kafkaesque.
5. Scheper-Hughes’s anti-market arguments
Professor Scheper-Hughes is, of course, correct to note that she has
“never used the word 'repulsive' or any word resembling 'repulsive' with
respect to markets in kidneys”. I did not, however, claim that she had.
Instead, I argued that in the absence of any explicit arguments offered by
her to oppose markets in human kidneys, three could be developed from her
work: The Argument from Interpersonal Coercion, the Argument from the
Black Market, and the Argument from Repugnance. Noting that I have
addressed the first two of these arguments elsewhere, I briefly addressed
the final argument in my article. Given that Professor Scheper-Hughes
wishes to disavow this argument, however, it seems that she has no
principled reason to oppose properly regulated markets in human kidneys.
Professor Scheper-Hughes claims that she has “been able to see and
hear and document in the field and on the ground” that the markets in
human kidneys that she has observed are “exploitative, unfair, unjust, and
unsafe for buyers and sellers”. It is no doubt true that participation in
the illegal markets that she has observed is unsafe for both buyers and
sellers. However, it is deeply puzzling as to how Professor Scheper-Hughes
has seen and heard exploitation, unfairness, and injustice. These are
normative concepts, and, as such, simply cannot be observed in the way
that Professor Scheper-Hughes claims to have observed them—at least, not
with the human senses that sciences recognizes. One has to argue that a
practice is exploitative, unfair, or unjust after arguing for one’s view
of the conditions that must be met for these adjectives properly to
apply—and it is precisely Professor Scheper-Hughes’s lack of arguments in
these respects that I was decrying in my article.
Finally, Professor Scheper-Hughes is mistaken to attribute the
(mis)quotation “Nothing that is human disgusts me” to the Carthaginian
theologian (rather than “Greek philosopher”) Tertullian. The closest
classical quotation to this is from Publius Terentius Afer’s Heauton
Timoroumenus: “Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto” (roughly, “I am a
human being, so nothing human is strange to me”). This quotation from
Terentius, however, will not do the work that Professor Scheper-Hughes
wishes it to do, since something might still disgust one even if it is not
strange to one. Perhaps, though, she was thinking of the rather more
modern quotation “Nothing human disgusts me…” uttered by Hannah Jelkes in
Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana. But, if this is so, then had
Professor Scheper-Hughes concluded it (“…Mr. Shannon, unless it's unkind,
violent) she would have realized that it this quotation was inappropriate,
given that she considers markets in human kidneys to be both “unkind,
violent”. Alas, though, this is not the first time that Professor Scheper-
Hughes seems to have had problems with quotations. In her paper “Keeping
an eye on the global traffic of human organs,” she attributes the
quotation “They call us prostitutes. Actually, we are worse than
prostitutes because we have sold something we can never get back” to a 27-
year old kidney seller called Niculae Bardan from a village called Mingir,
Moldova (2003f, p.1647). However, in her later paper “Rotten trade:
millennial capitalism, human values and global justice in organs
trafficking,” she attributes almost the same quotation (“We [kidney
sellers] are worse than prostitutes because what we have sold we can never
get back…”) to another 27-year old kidney seller, Viorel, from Chisenau,
the capital of Moldova (2003g, p.200). Perhaps, though, it is just the
case that some of the persons that she interviewed have very similar
views—and very similar ways of expressing them.
Scheper-Hughes, N. In Defense of the Body from the Queen of Hearts to
the Knave of Hearts. eLetter, J. Med. Ethics. (23 April 2007).
Taylor, J.S.. A "Queen of Hearts" trial of organ markets: why Scheper
-Hughes’s objections to markets in human organs fail. J Med Ethics 2007;
Cherry, M.J.. Kidney for sale by owner: human organs,
transplantation, and the market. Washington, DC: Georgetown University
Taylor, J.S.. Stakes and kidneys: why markets in human body parts are
morally imperative. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Press, 2005.
Scheper-Hughes, N. Parts unknown: undercover ethnography of the
organs-trafficking underworld. Ethnography 2004; 5: 29-73.
Scheper-Hughes, N. Rotten Trade: millennial capitalism, human value
and global justice in organs trafficking. J. Hum Rights 2003g; 2: 197-226.
Rao, P.S., Merion, R.M., Ashby,V.B., Port, F.K., Wolfe, R.A., Kayler,
L.K., Renal Transplantation in Elderly Patients Older Than 70 Years of
Age: Results From the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients.
Transplantation; 83: 1069-1074.
Scheper-Hughes, N. The Tyranny of the Gift: Sacrificial Violence in
Living Donor Transplant. American Journal of Transplant 2007; 7:1-5.
Scheper-Hughes, N. The end of the body. In: Swatz, TR, Bonello, FJ,
eds., Taking sides: clashing views on controversial economic issues. New
York: McGraw-Hill. 2003.
Scheper-Hughes, N. Keeping an eye on the global traffic in human
organs. Lancet 2003; 361: 1645-1648.
The Queen of Hearts she made some tarts all on a summer's day;
The Knave of Hearts he stole the tarts and took them clean away.
The King of Hearts called for the tarts and beat the Knave full sore;
The Knave of Hearts brought back the tarts and vowed he'd steal no more.
Nursery Rhyme (traditional)
"Off with their heads" - the Queen of...
"Off with their heads" - the Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland
Lewis Carroll's jabberwocky-laden satire on justice in Victorian
society refashions the cozily domestic tart-baking Queen of Hearts into a
ruthless and stupid ruler who responds to every annoyance with the
command: "Off with their heads!". The queen is stymied, however, when she
orders the beheading of the Cheshire cat who magically appears and
disappears as a large head with a grinning face. The royal executioner
refuses an impossible order. The king says that anything with a head can
be beheaded. The executioner insists that beheading requires the subject
to have a body. While they argue it out the Cheshire cat slips away. At
least Lewis Carroll was mindful of Kant's categorical imperative
concerning the ontological status of the body as an integrated assemblage
of unalienable parts!
The original Queen of Hearts, however, was the Biblical Judith, an
exemplary Old Testament figure, who was praised for her courage and faith
in defending the Israelites against a conquering army sent by the Assyrian
king, Nebuchadnezzar. Judith's image was memorialized as the 'Queen of
Hearts' on French playing cards appearing in the early 17th century. So,
like Princess Diana, who preferred to be her country's 'Queen of Hearts'
than the Queen of England, I am content to be satirized by Taylor as a
Queen of Hearts in defending the body against rogue markets.
In the following response I will treat each of Taylor's objections of
my anti-organs market arguments.
1. An Assumed Right to Buy
Taylor argues that I mischaracterize pro-market positions and the
medical and economic realities underlying organs markets. But the reverse
is the case. Taylor mischaracterizes my arguments which are not with moral
philosophers and academic bio-ethicists,(except when asked to review their
books!) or when drafted into a debate (like this one). While I read what
moral philosophers and bioethicists and economists have to say about
markets in bodies, my arguments are not with or about them, but with the
organs brokers, kidney buyers, medical insurance companies and rogue
surgeons involved in illegal transplants with organs procured through
unregulated black markets. My arguments are also with Ministries of
Health, medical credentialing boards, international transplant societies
and policing institutions that have generally failed to interrupt,
correct, disbar, and/or prosecute those involved in breaking existing laws
as well as international regulations.
Moral philosophers argue from a disciplined obedience to reason,
anthropologists argue from empirical observations of social life as
lived in the real life contexts under study. I have argued that a
'right to buy' and 'right to [quality of] life' perspective fuels illicit
transplant transactions on the ground. Hundreds of participants in
'transplant tourism' -- buyers, surgeons, brokers and others -- actively
defend in taped and in videotaped interviews, a 'right to life' and a
'right to buy' perspective. More recently, I have argued that these
consumer and market-oriented principles have begun to affect altruistic
living donation as old patients grandparents are asking for kidneys from
adult children and grandchildren. In March 2007 at Mass General Hospital
in Boston I encountered a 64 year old hospital volunteer whose 87 year
old mother had asked for a kidney. The mother was shocked at her
daughter's gentle refusal and she chided her: "Isn't this what any sick
parent can expect from her own child?"
Taylor may not have used a right to buy principle in his work, but a
great many pro-market scholars and bioethicists, including Janet Radcliffe
-Richards , Abdullah Daar , and Arthur Matas have defend a 'right to
buy and to sell organs' based on principle of individual liberty and
autonomy. Some, like Daar, also argue from a principle of life-saving.
Daar has said that banning kidney sales is tantamount to issuing a death
sentence against patients suffering from end stage kidney disease. The
late Michael Friedlander, a transplant nephrologists at Hebrew University
in Jerusalem, announced that over time he had gradually come to accept "
a right to buy and sell a kidney".
Of course there are divided opinions on this among proponents of
organs markets. But while Taylor accuses me of misrepresenting his own
views with respect to an "assumed right to buy" [an organ], in my review
of his book, Stakes and Kidneys, I write that " while defending the
individual's right to sell, neither author [Taylor and Mark Cherry]
articulates the individual's 'right to purchase life' in the form of a
kidney (or another organ) from a stranger." By not dealing with this
ethical principle (so often articulated by those involved in kidney
markets) a 'right to buy' might function implicitly in their arguments.
2. Are transplant organs luxury goods?
My research in a dozen countries, with varying levels of regulation and of
institutional capacity to monitor the harvesting and distribution of
organs, has led me to conclude that in many global contexts organs
waiting lists are frightfully flawed, lack transparency, and are filled
with error. Even in the United States with its generally excellent
organization under UNOS, initial reviews of the data on the official
show redundancies ( as some enterprising patients double and triple list
in different regions of the country), include many 'inactive' patients,
and in the absence of the application of older medical ethical principles
such as futility, the fastest growing population group on the US waiting
list are people over 70 years old, many with complicating medical
conditions that should render them ineligible for transplant. There is a
glaring need for independent review and surveillance of the UNOS waiting
Data from interviews with transplant tourist patients, their doctors,
and brokers as well as observations of the shifting locations for
transplant tours indicate that organs buyers demand quality 'products'
and they are willing to pay more for 'fresher' and 'healthier' kidneys.
Kidney buyers demand personal, ethnic, medical, and social profiles of
their suppliers so they can select the 'best quality' organ. If Stacy
refuses to believe my reports, he can search the Internet under, for one
example: http://www.liver4you.org/ an international organs brokerage
firm that promises quality products , from both live and caderveric
donors, at market prices. Until I complained, the group used to
advertise even more crudely: "Want to wait years for a cadaver organ
or buy a fresh one from a living donor in just two weeks?"
I have absolutely never said or implied that there is no need for
transplant. In referring to an 'invented' or 'artificial' scarcity I am
using the language of deconstruction to suggest that medical needs and
waiting lists are socially as well as medically produced.
3. Concentration camps and invisible sacrifice.
I have argued, based on empirical work in forensic institutes,
hospitals, and police mortuaries in several countries, but that
especially under authoritarian and police state, the dead bodies of the
shantytown poor, township residents, the body of the enemy and the
mentally deficient, have been used as non-consenting organs and tissue
Implicit laws of 'presumed consent' based on longstanding and
widespread practices of using the 'unidentified' bodies of presumed to be
unclaimed paupers, obtain in many medical-legal institutes and police
morgues in the first and the third world.
I never equate these deviant or at best semi-legal practices in
public morgues with organized, normative and transparent policies of
presumed consent (opting out) as exist in central Europe and as was
attempted ( in good faith) in Brazil in 1997 and as Argentina has just
implemented. Rather, I have argued in many articles (uncited by Taylor)
that presumed consent would be the best possible solution to the need for
transplanatable organs, but that nations (like the US) with vast racial,
class and ethnic divisions, and in the absence of a national health
care system is not in a good position to ask for social solidarity nor to
demand generosity at death from bodies of the medically uninsured who were
not cared for while they were alive.
More recently, I have examined bio-piracy in global tissue
trafficking including the involvement of funeral parlors and ad hoc
tissue banks in New York City and New Jersey that lead to police
investigations and arrests.
4. The Trade in Living Organs
Taylor makes the leap from my discussions of tissues harvesting
from the dead to living, voluntary sale of organs. As these cannot be
subsumed under the same heading, I have supplied one. I have only one
question: What is Taylor evidence for the blanket assertion that
"voluntary trades in human organs that take place between consenting
adults, untainted by force or fraud, make all parties to them better off".
Where are the empirical studies to support his claim? It is, I fear, the
philosopher's speculation that in the best of all possible worlds this
would or could possibly be the case.
To date, however,all empirical studies of living kidney donors
indicate varying degrees of coercion, deception, feelings of exploitation,
shame, and resentment following arranged kidney sales. In addition to my
research are studies conducted by Lawrence Cohen , Sheila and David
Rothman , Goyal, Schneiderman and Sehgal and Zargooshi There are also
as yet unpublished doctoral dissertations by medical anthropologists
working in Iran, Turkey, Eqypt, and the Philippines with similar
findings. While selling a kidney means different things and has
different medical, social, and psychological consequences, depending on
many factors ( including access to medical after care, attitudes toward
the body, religious and cultural beliefs about gifting, sales, and
reciprocity, living and work conditions, and so on) thus far the data show
negative consequences. Most kidney sellers report lower wages and
decreased income in the first years after the sale. Since the sale of one
kidney per family is never enough, the temptation is strong in many areas
where kidney selling has almost become routine ( as in Manila) for
families to pass along the role of kidney seller from father to his sons.
Would regulation of black markets in organs solve matters?
The only test case we have to draw on is Iran. Iran's government
regulated system of kidney sales for transplant surgeries is highly
contested within the Iranian medical profession. Internal medical critics
of the system say that easy access to the bodies of poor people has
prevented the development of a deceased donor system in Iran and has
eroded living kidney donation among loving family members. They report
that kidney sellers are often treated, like deceased donors, as anonymous
suppliers of medical material. There is in Iran today no medical registry
of paid donors and no medical accountability, mandatory reporting of
mishaps, or seller follow up. Regulation in Iran has not ended the
black market, it has simply made it an official policy. Living donors are
still recruited by middlemen and payments are negotiated behind the
scenes. More affluent transplant patients demand healthier, better-off
donors, and are willing to pay an additional price for a 'higher quality'
kidney. While regulation is generally preferable to an underground black
market, it is contradictory for governments and Ministries of Health
to weaken one previously healthy segment of the population in the
interest of a sicker and wealthier section.
5. Scheper-Hughes's Anti-Market Arguments
I have never used the word 'repulsive' or any word resembling
'repulsive' with respect to markets in kidneys. I have used the
adjectives: exploitative, unfair, unjust, and unsafe for buyers and
sellers because that is what I have been able to see and hear and
document in the field and on the ground. Anthropologists are inclined
to think like the Greek philosopher (was it Tertullian? )who said:
"Nothing that is human disgusts me".
Scheper-Hughes, N. The Tyranny of the Gift: Sacrificial Violence in
Living Donor Transplant. American Journal of Transplant 2007; 7:1-5.
Radcliife-Richards, J. Commentary. An ethical market in human
J Med Ethics. 2003 Jun;29(3):139-40; Radcliffe- Richards J, Daar AS,
Guttmann RD, Hoffenberg R, Kennedy I, Lock M, Sells RA, Tilney N. The case
for allowing kidney sales. International Forum for Transplant Ethics.
The Lancet. 1998 Jun 27;351(9120):1950-1952.
Daar AS . Money and organ procurement: narratives from the real
world. In: Theo Gutmann, AS Daar, R Sells, W Land ( eds). Ethical, Legal
and Social Issues in Organ Transplantation. Munich: Pabs Publishers, in
Matas, Arthur J . The Case for Living Kidney Sales: Rationale,
Objections and Concerns. American Journal of Transplantation. 2004
4(12):2007-2017, December 2004 ; Matas, Arthur J. Schnitzler, Mark .
Payment for Living Donor (Vendor) Kidneys: A Cost-Effectiveness Analysis.
American Journal of Transplantation 2004 4(2):216-221, February.
Friedlaender, Michael. "The Right to Sell or Buy a Kidney: Are we
failing Our patients?" The Lancet vol. 359, March 16, 2002.
Scheper-Hughes, Nancy. 2005. Book Review: "The Ultimate Commodity".
The Lancet 366: 1349-1350, October 15.
Scheper-Hughes, N. Alistair Cooke's Bones: A Morality Tale.
Anthropology Today 22(6) December: 3-8; Scheper-Hughes, N. Biopiracy and
the Global Quest for Human Organs. NACLA: Report on the Americas 2006
Scheper-Hughes, N. "Organs Trafficking: the Real, the Unreal and the
Uncanny. Annals of Transplantation 2006 11(3): 16-30. Publication of
the Polish, Czech, and the Hungarian Transplantation Societies. Editor:
W.A. Rowinski; Scheper-Hughes, N. "Consuming Difference: Post-Human
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Vera N. Schuyler Institute Fellow
RADCLIFFE INSTITUTE FOR ADVANCED STUDY
34 Concord Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
Phone: 617-496-3486 (office -messages)
Professor of Medical Anthropology
Director Organs Watch
Department of Anthropology
232 Kroeber Hall
University of California
Berkeley, California 94720