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The best argument against kidney sales fails
  1. Luke Semrau
  1. Correspondence to Luke Semrau, Philosophy Department, 111 Furman Hall, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN 37240, USA; Luke.semrau{at}


Simon Rippon has recently argued against kidney markets on the grounds that introducing the option to vend will result in many people, especially the poor, being subject to harmful pressure to vend. Though compelling, Rippon's argument fails. What he takes to be a single phenomenon—social and legal pressure to vend—is actually two. Only one of these forms of pressure is, by Rippon's own account, harmful. Further, an empirically informed view of the regulated market suggests that this harmful pressure is easily avoided. Thus, the harm that is the lynchpin of Rippon's opposition is neither a necessary feature of the market nor is it likely to play a significant role in its operation.

  • Kidneys
  • Public Policy
  • Regulation
  • Transplantation
  • Applied and Professional Ethics

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