Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
In my recent article in the Journal of Medical Ethics, I attacked the Laissez Choisir (LC) Argument in defence of letting individuals choose whether to sell kidneys or other organs as living donors, and I argued that such transactions should generally remain prohibited.1 The LC Argument arises as a response to a prohibitionist claim that I endorse: organ sales should be banned to protect potential poverty-stricken vendors, even if a free market could provide great benefits to potential organ recipients. The LC Argument says that this is misplaced paternalism, since banning the market only takes away from willing vendors what they must regard as their best option, thereby (allegedly) leaving them even worse off, at least as they see things. My refutation of the LC Argument pointed out, on the contrary, that giving some people the option to sell their organs may harm them in ways they would reasonably prefer not to be harmed—even though they would reasonably prefer to take the option once it is presented. The upshot is that many potentially willing organ vendors might themselves reasonably prefer prohibition. I argued that the harms of a live donor organ market to this group would in fact be significant and unavoidable, and that it would be morally impermissible to impose these harms. And I suggested that this argument for prohibition best explicates an inchoate but widely shared moral concern about the exploitative nature of live donor organ trading.
I thank Gerald Dworkin, Janet Radcliffe Richards and Adrian Walsh for their engaging and often insightful commentaries.2–4 I agree with a lot, but I will …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.
- Feature article
- The concise argument
Read the full text or download the PDF:
Other content recommended for you
- Imposing options on people in poverty: the harm of a live donor organ market
- A legal market in organs: the problem of exploitation
- Organ sales and paternalism
- Choice, pressure and markets in kidneys
- An ethical market in human organs
- If I were a rich man could I sell a pancreas? A study in the locus of oppression
- The best argument against kidney sales fails
- Commentary on Simon Rippon, ‘Imposing options on people in poverty: the harm of a live donor organ market’
- A “Queen of Hearts” trial of organ markets: why Scheper-Hughes’s objections to markets in human organs fail
- Romania adopts new transplant law