• postmortem organ procurement;
  • informed consent;
  • presumed consent;
  • procedural requirements;
  • contract theory


In this paper I problematise quite a simple assertion: that the two major frameworks used in assessing consent to post-mortem organ donation, presumed consent and informed consent, are procedurally similar in that both are ‘default rules.’ Because of their procedural common characteristic, both rules do exclude marginalized groups from consent schemes. Yet this connection is often overlooked. Contract theory on default rules, better than bioethical arguments, can assist in choosing between these two rules. Applying contract theory to the question of post-mortem organ donation suggests that the default rule should be one that goes against the wishes of the stronger party in consent decisions.