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Organ Sales: Exploitative at Any Price?


  • Rob Lawlor

    Corresponding author
    1. Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied CETL (Centre of Excellence in Teaching and Learning) at the University of Leeds
    • Dr. Rob Lawlor, University of Leeds – IDEA CETL, 8–12 Fenton Street, Leeds LS2 9JT, UK. Email:

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  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared


In many cases, claims that a transaction is exploitative will focus on the details of the transaction, such as the price paid or conditions. For example, in a claim that a worker is exploited, the grounds for the claim are usually that the pay is not sufficient or the working conditions too dangerous. In some cases, however, the claim that a transaction is exploitative is not seen to rely on these finer details. Many, for example, claim that organ sales would be exploitative, in a way that doesn't seem to depend on the details. This article considers, but ultimately rejects, a number of arguments which could be used to defend this sort of claim.