Commodification and exploitation: arguments in favour of compensated organ donation

Journal of Medical Ethics 29 (3):142-146 (2003)
Abstract
This paper takes the view that compensated donation and altruism are not incompatible. In particular, it holds that the arguments against giving compensation stand on weak rational grounds: the charge that compensation fosters “commodification” has neither been specific enough to account for different types of monetary transactions nor sufficiently grounded in reality to be rationally convincing; although altruism is commendable, organ donors should not be compelled to act purely on the basis of altruistic motivations, especially if there are good reasons to believe that significantly more lives can be saved and enhanced if incentives are put in place, and offering compensation for organs does not necessarily lead to exploitation—on the contrary, it may be regarded as a necessity in efforts to minimise the level of exploitation that already exists in current organ procurement systems
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