Philosophy and Medicine 60 (3):209-232 (1999)

Thomas M. Powers
University of Delaware
The moral permissibility of organ transplantation is taken for granted by most biomedical ethicists and practitioners. Of contemporary concern is not whether, but by what arrangements, we ought to allow organ transplantation. Should we institute markets for organs, thereby increasing their availability and saving many lives? Should organs be sold to the highest bidder? Should we allow the post mortem taking of organs without prior consent? Among moral theorists, the Kantians are suspected of being the least enthusiastic with respect to these and similar questions. I will show the elements in Kant's theory that account for this lack of enthusiasm and how contemporary Kantians might answer questions about the permissibility of various arrangements for organ transplantation. I will argue that Kant would have had a permissive position on organ transplantation post mortem and a restrictive position on organ markets. These results will be based on a broader Kantian view of obligations to the body which stem from a non-formal theory of value. This non-formal theory, I will argue, is at the foundation of Kantian ethics.
Keywords organ transplantation  medical ethics  Kantian ethics
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,078
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Bodily Integrity and Male and Female Circumcision.Wim Dekkers, Cor Hoffer & Jean-Pierre Wils - 2004 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 8 (2):179-191.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles


Added to PP index

Total views
10 ( #896,280 of 2,498,934 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
2 ( #279,629 of 2,498,934 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes