: We argue that healthy people should be allowed to sell one of their kidneys while they are alive—that the current prohibition on payment for kidneys ought to be overturned. Our argument has three parts. First, we argue that the moral basis for the current policy on live kidney donations and on the sale of other kinds of tissue implies that we ought to legalize the sale of kidneys. Second, we address the objection that the sale of kidneys is intrinsically (...) wrong because it violates the Kantian duty of respect for humanity. Third, we address a range of consequentialist objections based on the idea that kidney sales will be exploitative. Throughout the paper, we argue only that it ought to be legal for an individual to receive payment for a kidney. We do not argue that it ought to be legal for an individual to buy a kidney. (shrink)
Xenotransplantation pits clinical research ethics against public health needs because recipients must undergo long-term, perhaps life-long, surveillance for infectious diseases. This surveillance requirement is effectively an abrogation of the right to withdraw from a clinical trial. Ulysses contracts, which are advance directives for future care, may be an ethical mechanism by which to balance public health needs against limitation of individual rights.
Many studies have shown that marijuana can negatively affect the cognitive development of adolescents. For some individuals, marijuana use may also initiate opioid use, dose escalation, and opioid use disorder. States that legalize marijuana should help adolescents through regulation of advertising and availability of marijuana-infused edibles. Such policies may assist in protecting neurodevelopment of the adolescent and young adult brain. The federal government should also remove its prohibition of marijuana sales and use, leaving their regulation to state law-makers.
Competing contemporary theories of health, the reductionist and the relativist of an objective goal, can be classified as objectivist theories. The ultimate goal of all living things is life, the standard by which states or functions can be measured, and thereby defined as healthy or disease states. While disease can be classified in a taxonomy of biological dysfunctions without remainder, health is a richer concept that includes not only biological values, but also moral values, both leading to the ultimate goal (...) of human flourishing. (shrink)
Proposed solutions to the problems of this country's health care system range along a spectrum from central planning to free market. Central planners and free market advocates provide various ethical justifications for the policies they propose. The crucial flaw in the philosophical rationale of central planning is failure to distinguish between normative and metanormative principles, which leads to mistaken understanding of the nature of rights. Natural rights, based on the principle of noninterference, provide the link between individual morality and social (...) order. Free markets, the practical expression of natural rights, are uniquely capable of achieving the goals that central planners seek but find beyond their grasp. The history of this country's health care system and the experiences of other nations provide evidence of the superiority of free markets in reaching for the goals of universal access, control of costs, and sustaining the quality of health care. (shrink)