Graduate studies at Western
American Journal of Bioethics 9 (8):3-10 (2009)
|Abstract||Most people think it is wrong to take organs from the dead if the potential donors had previously expressed a wish not to donate. Yet people respond differently to a thought experiment that seems analogous in terms of moral relevance to taking organs without consent. We argue that our reaction to the thought experiment is most representative of our deepest moral convictions. We realize not everyone will be convinced by the conclusions we draw from our thought experiment. Therefore, we point out that the state ignores consent in performing mandatory autopsies in some cases. If readers are willing to give up the permissibility of mandatory autopsies, we then offer some metaphysical arguments against posthumous harm. Drawing upon claims about bodies ceasing to exist at death and Epicurean-inspired arguments against posthumous interests, we make a case for an organ conscription policy which respects fundamental liberal principles of autonomy, bodily integrity, and property|
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