Distribution of Resources: Outcome, Waiting Time, and Money

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: Outcome, Waiting Time, and Money

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Continues the discussion of organ distribution for transplantation presented in the last four chapters of Part III of the book. Considers whether and why, when need and urgency are held constant, greater (better) outcome should be given weight in making decisions. An examination is made of various theories in more detail, including that of contractualist moral reasoning as proposed by Thomas Scanlon. Aspects addressed include the substitution of equivalents, counting numbers vs concentrated benefit, worse vs better outcomes, the weight to be given to death, equal rights, and social utility in relation to outcome, and the role of the doctor in relation to consideration of outcome and social policy. Discussions of how much weight to give to waiting time, the role of ability to pay in distribution decisions, and problems in deriving the government's duty to pay complete the chapter.

Keywords: ability to pay; contractualist moral reasoning; death; equal rights; government's duty to pay; need; numbers vs benefit; organ distribution; outcome; role of doctor; Thomas Scanlon; social policy; social utility; substitution of equivalents; transplantation; urgency; waiting time; worse vs better outcomes

Chapter.  11079 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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