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The ethics of selling body parts

Published in Rainhorn. J. -D. & Boudamoussi, S. New cannibal markets : globalization and commodification of the human body. Paris: Maison des sciences de l'homme. 2015, p. 47-56
Abstract Should we be allowed to sell blood, or kidneys? The standard answer is no. A broad consensus in international regulatory documents supports a ban on all forms of sale of organs and human body parts. This consensus has, however, been critiqued and prominent calls made for „ economic rewards to motivate blood donation“ and for regulated markets for human organs. Opposition to selling human organs is usually based on risks of harms for vendors and buyers, the potential for exploitation in an asymetric power relationship, and concerns regarding commodification. Proponents of markets in organs argue that such concerns are weaker than they appear, and can be allayed by appropriate regulations. Moreover, banning the sale of human body parts is an obstacle to access to care for patients on transplantation lists. Were we to be allowed to sell organs or other body parts, such as blood, availability would dramatically increase and lives would be saved. If arguments in favor of a ban are weaker than we thought, it is argued, they should not in such diminished form trump the chance to save many lives by making more organs available than is currently the case. The case in favour of regulated markets in human organs is strong and should be properly understood. In this paper, I will argue that we nevertheless have good reason to ban the sale of human organs.
ISBN: 9782735119981
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Book chapter (Author postprint) (147 Kb) - public document Free access
Research group Ethique biomédicale (783)
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HURST, Samia. The ethics of selling body parts. In: Rainhorn. J. -D. & Boudamoussi, S. (Ed.). New cannibal markets : globalization and commodification of the human body. Paris : Maison des sciences de l'homme, 2015. p. 47-56. https://archive-ouverte.unige.ch/unige:76266

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Deposited on : 2015-10-19

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