Impartiality, Acquisition, and Allocation

T. M. Wilkinson

in Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199607860
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731747 | DOI:

Series: Issues in Biomedical Ethics

Impartiality, Acquisition, and Allocation

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The ethical problems of transplantation are about allocation as well as acquisition. Chapter 9 is about the ethical problems created when allocation and acquisition interact, as in cases of so‐called directed donation (e.g. ‘you can give my organs only to someone who is white’) and schemes to give priority in receiving organs to people who are willing to donate. Both directed donation and priority schemes can have practical drawbacks, but the ethical objections to them are not strong. On the acquisition side, transplantation has been dominated by the ideas of gift and altruism. On the allocation side, it has been dominated by a concern for an efficient and just distribution. But the traditional view of gift and altruism is confused about the concepts and the basis for highly inaccurate descriptions of existing practice. And the prevailing views of justice and efficiency rest on the fallacy of assuming that only strictly impartial allocation rules are impartially defensible.

Keywords: allocation; directed donation; priority; altruism; gift; impartiality; justice; efficiency

Chapter.  11444 words. 

Subjects: Moral Philosophy

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