Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Consent and living organ donation
  1. Maximilian Kiener
  1. Philosophy, University of Oxford, Oxford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Maximilian Kiener, The Queen's College, University of Oxford, Oxford OX14AW, UK; maximilian.kiener{at}


This paper focuses on voluntary consent in the context of living organ donation. Arguing against three dominant views, I claim that voluntariness must not be equated with willingness, that voluntariness does not require the exercise of relational moral agency, and that, in cases of third-party pressure, voluntariness critically depends on the role of the surgeon and the medical team, and not just on the pressure from other people. I therefore argue that an adequate account of voluntary consent cannot understand voluntariness as a purely psychological concept, that it has to be consistent with people pursuing various different conceptions of the good and that it needs to make the interaction between the person giving consent and the person (or people) receiving consent central to its approach.

  • informed consent
  • vital organ donation
  • autonomy
  • ethics

Data availability statement

There are no data in this work.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

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.

Data availability statement

There are no data in this work.

View Full Text


  • Contributors Maximilian Kiener is the sole author and contributor to this article.

  • Funding This study was supported by the European Research Council, under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (project ID: 789270), and from the Arts and Humanities Research Council UK (grant number AH/L503885/1).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

Other content recommended for you