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Commodification arguments for the legal prohibition of organ sale

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Commodification arguments for the legal prohibition of organ sale. / Wilkinson, Stephen.

In: Health Care Analysis, Vol. 8, No. 2, 2000, p. 189-201.

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Wilkinson, Stephen. / Commodification arguments for the legal prohibition of organ sale. In: Health Care Analysis. 2000 ; Vol. 8, No. 2. pp. 189-201.

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@article{208bf456d63d438fbec7b558f5f823d1,
title = "Commodification arguments for the legal prohibition of organ sale",
abstract = "The commercial trading of human organs, along withvarious related activities (for example, advertising)was criminalised throughout Great Britain under theHuman Organ Transplants Act 1989.This paper critically assesses one type of argumentfor this, and similar, legal prohibitions:commodification arguments.Firstly, the term `commodification' is analysed. Thiscan be used to refer to either social practices or toattitudes. Commodification arguments rely on thesecond sense and are based on the idea that having acommodifying attitude to certain classes of thing(e.g. bodies or persons) is wrong. The commodifyingattitude consists of three main elements: denial ofsubjectivity, instrumentality, and fungibility.Secondly, in the light of this analysis, the claimthat organ sale involves commodifying the human bodyis examined. This claim is found to be plausible butinsufficient to ground an argument against organ sale,because the very same commodifying attitude is likelyto be present in cases of (unpaid) organ donation. Itis also argued that commodifying bodies per semay not be wrong.Thirdly, the view that organ sale involvescommodifying persons is examined. Although this andthe claim that it is wrong to commodify persons areprobably true, there is – it is argued – littlereason to regard organ sale as worse in this respectthan other widely accepted practices, such as thebuying and selling of labour.The conclusion is that although commodification is auseful ethical concept and although commodificationarguments may sometimes be successful, thecommodification argument against organ sale is notpersuasive. This is not to say, though, that thereare no arguments for prohibition – simply that thisparticular justificatory strategy is flawed.",
keywords = "body commodification, Brecher, commodification, Human Organ Transplants Act 1989, organ sale",
author = "Stephen Wilkinson",
year = "2000",
doi = "10.1023/A:1009454612900",
language = "English",
volume = "8",
pages = "189--201",
journal = "Health Care Analysis",
issn = "1065-3058",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Commodification arguments for the legal prohibition of organ sale

AU - Wilkinson, Stephen

PY - 2000

Y1 - 2000

N2 - The commercial trading of human organs, along withvarious related activities (for example, advertising)was criminalised throughout Great Britain under theHuman Organ Transplants Act 1989.This paper critically assesses one type of argumentfor this, and similar, legal prohibitions:commodification arguments.Firstly, the term `commodification' is analysed. Thiscan be used to refer to either social practices or toattitudes. Commodification arguments rely on thesecond sense and are based on the idea that having acommodifying attitude to certain classes of thing(e.g. bodies or persons) is wrong. The commodifyingattitude consists of three main elements: denial ofsubjectivity, instrumentality, and fungibility.Secondly, in the light of this analysis, the claimthat organ sale involves commodifying the human bodyis examined. This claim is found to be plausible butinsufficient to ground an argument against organ sale,because the very same commodifying attitude is likelyto be present in cases of (unpaid) organ donation. Itis also argued that commodifying bodies per semay not be wrong.Thirdly, the view that organ sale involvescommodifying persons is examined. Although this andthe claim that it is wrong to commodify persons areprobably true, there is – it is argued – littlereason to regard organ sale as worse in this respectthan other widely accepted practices, such as thebuying and selling of labour.The conclusion is that although commodification is auseful ethical concept and although commodificationarguments may sometimes be successful, thecommodification argument against organ sale is notpersuasive. This is not to say, though, that thereare no arguments for prohibition – simply that thisparticular justificatory strategy is flawed.

AB - The commercial trading of human organs, along withvarious related activities (for example, advertising)was criminalised throughout Great Britain under theHuman Organ Transplants Act 1989.This paper critically assesses one type of argumentfor this, and similar, legal prohibitions:commodification arguments.Firstly, the term `commodification' is analysed. Thiscan be used to refer to either social practices or toattitudes. Commodification arguments rely on thesecond sense and are based on the idea that having acommodifying attitude to certain classes of thing(e.g. bodies or persons) is wrong. The commodifyingattitude consists of three main elements: denial ofsubjectivity, instrumentality, and fungibility.Secondly, in the light of this analysis, the claimthat organ sale involves commodifying the human bodyis examined. This claim is found to be plausible butinsufficient to ground an argument against organ sale,because the very same commodifying attitude is likelyto be present in cases of (unpaid) organ donation. Itis also argued that commodifying bodies per semay not be wrong.Thirdly, the view that organ sale involvescommodifying persons is examined. Although this andthe claim that it is wrong to commodify persons areprobably true, there is – it is argued – littlereason to regard organ sale as worse in this respectthan other widely accepted practices, such as thebuying and selling of labour.The conclusion is that although commodification is auseful ethical concept and although commodificationarguments may sometimes be successful, thecommodification argument against organ sale is notpersuasive. This is not to say, though, that thereare no arguments for prohibition – simply that thisparticular justificatory strategy is flawed.

KW - body commodification

KW - Brecher

KW - commodification

KW - Human Organ Transplants Act 1989

KW - organ sale

U2 - 10.1023/A:1009454612900

DO - 10.1023/A:1009454612900

M3 - Journal article

VL - 8

SP - 189

EP - 201

JO - Health Care Analysis

JF - Health Care Analysis

SN - 1065-3058

IS - 2

ER -