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Organ trafficking and transplant tourism


Biller-Andorno, Nikola; Alpinar, Zümrüt (2013). Organ trafficking and transplant tourism. In: ten Have, Henk A M J; Gordijn, Bert. Handbook of Global Bioethics. Dordrecht: Springer, 771-783.

Abstract

Organ trafficking is usually considered to involve the recruitment of living persons for the purpose of removing their organs for transplantation by means of coercion, deception, payment, or other abusive practices. Transplant tourism can constitute a form of organ trafficking. Whereas there is widespread agreement that exploitation in the context of organ procurement is morally wrong, there has been some controversy as to whether payment for organs is ethically acceptable or even required given the unmet need for organs and the hesitancy of many to donate without financial reward.

The chapter will start with an overview of the ethical debate on organ trafficking. The major arguments revolve around central principles of biomedical ethics, the respect for autonomy, human dignity, justice, nonmaleficence, and beneficence. In a next step, a review of empirical data illuminating the reality of organ trafficking in different contexts will be presented. The subsequent part will describe policy developments in recent years and summarize the current international norms on organ trafficking. In conclusion, the scrutiny of arguments in favor of organ selling in the light of empirical data shows that there is little plausibility for the claim that payment for organs could increase the number of available organs in a sustainable way, while respecting vendors’ autonomy, minimizing their health risks, and offering fair deals. The prohibitive stance of current international norms is therefore appropriate and should be maintained.

Organ trafficking is usually considered to involve the recruitment of living persons for the purpose of removing their organs for transplantation by means of coercion, deception, payment, or other abusive practices. Transplant tourism can constitute a form of organ trafficking. Whereas there is widespread agreement that exploitation in the context of organ procurement is morally wrong, there has been some controversy as to whether payment for organs is ethically acceptable or even required given the unmet need for organs and the hesitancy of many to donate without financial reward.

The chapter will start with an overview of the ethical debate on organ trafficking. The major arguments revolve around central principles of biomedical ethics, the respect for autonomy, human dignity, justice, nonmaleficence, and beneficence. In a next step, a review of empirical data illuminating the reality of organ trafficking in different contexts will be presented. The subsequent part will describe policy developments in recent years and summarize the current international norms on organ trafficking. In conclusion, the scrutiny of arguments in favor of organ selling in the light of empirical data shows that there is little plausibility for the claim that payment for organs could increase the number of available organs in a sustainable way, while respecting vendors’ autonomy, minimizing their health risks, and offering fair deals. The prohibitive stance of current international norms is therefore appropriate and should be maintained.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Biomedical Ethics and History of Medicine
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:September 2013
Deposited On:29 Oct 2013 08:34
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 16:25
Publisher:Springer
ISBN:978-94-007-2513-3, 978-94-007-2512-6 (eISBN)
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-2512-6_122
Related URLs:http://opac.nebis.ch/F/?local_base=NEBIS&CON_LNG=GER&func=find-b&find_code=SYS&request=009979044
http://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-94-007-2512-6
Permanent URL: https://doi.org/10.5167/uzh-72043

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