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ORGAN SALES NEEDN'T BE EXPLOITATIVE (BUT IT MATTERS IF THEY ARE)

Authors


Rob Lawlor, Inter-Disciplinary Ethics Applied, A Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning, University of Leeds, 8–12 Fenton Street, (Off Woodhouse Lane), Leeds, LS2 9JT. Tel: 07741 166 377; Email: r.s.lawlor@leeds.ac.uk

ABSTRACT

This paper considers two arguments that are common in the literature on organ sales. First, organ sales are exploitative and therefore should not be permitted. Second, it doesn't matter whether organ sales are exploitative or not; the only thing that matters is that we do what is in the interests of those who need to be protected.

In this paper, I argue that both of these arguments are too simplistic. My intention, however, is not to argue for or against organ sales. My conclusion, rather, is simply that we cannot hope to address the issue of organ sales if we lack a good understanding of exploitation. We should not attempt to answer the question of whether or not organ sales should be banned on the grounds that they are exploitative without acknowledging and addressing the nuances involved in understanding exploitation.

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