Distribution of Resources: Urgency and Outcome

F. M. Kamm

in Morality, Mortality Volume I: Death and Whom to Save From It

Published in print July 1998 | ISBN: 9780195119114
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199872244 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Ethics Series

 Distribution of Resources: Urgency and Outcome

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Continues the discussion of organ distribution for transplantation presented in the last four chapters of Part III of the book. Discusses the relative weight that should be assigned to urgency and outcome when need is constant, although the discussion also bears on the relation of need to outcome. Various hypothetical cases are presented that involve varying outcomes in absolute numbers of years, and these are discussed in the contexts of a determining organ distribution by a maximin approach (the approach of aiding the much worse off before the better off) that is modified so that consideration is given to outcome. Aspects addressed include unavoidable inequality, chances, lending organs, and various alternatives to the modified maximin approach — Dan Brock's proposal of chances proportional to outcome, multiplying outcomes, and outcome as sole determinant. The last section of the chapter looks at the justification for moving from the maximin approach to the modified maximin approach and then even further toward an approach that shows an even greater concern for outcome.

Keywords: aiding the better off; aiding the worst off; Dan Brock; chances; chances proportional to outcome; inequality; lending organs; maximin approach; modified maximin approach; multiplying outcomes; need; organ distribution; outcome; outcome as sole determinant; transplantation; unavoidable inequality; urgency; urgency vs outcome

Chapter.  8388 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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