Download Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body by Stephen Wilkinson PDF

Medical Ethics

By Stephen Wilkinson

ISBN-10: 0415266254

ISBN-13: 9780415266253

Bodies on the market: Ethics and Exploitation within the Human physique exchange explores the philosophical and useful matters raised via actions corresponding to surrogacy and organ trafficking. Stephen Wilkinson asks what's it that makes a few advertisement makes use of of the physique arguable, even if the arguments opposed to advertisement exploitation rise up, and no matter if laws outlawing such practices is de facto justified.

In half One Wilkinson explains and analyses a few of the notoriously slippery innovations utilized in the physique commodification debate, together with exploitation, damage and consent. partially he makes a speciality of 3 debatable matters (the trading of human kidneys, advertisement surrogacy, and DNA patenting) outlining modern rules and investigating either the ethical matters and the arguments for felony prohibition.

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Extra resources for Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade

Example text

But even if we don’t accept his views on sex, we can still learn something from the above passage about the way in which viewing persons instrumentally might lead us to deny their autonomy. For Kant’s proposal seems in general terms a good idea, and – what’s more – a remarkably ‘common-sense’ one. His thought is that when we become focussed on a person’s instrumental value, on her usefulness to us, we have a tendency to disregard the fact that she is an autonomous being who deserves respect. In other words, thinking of a person in terms of use encourages us to overlook the fact that she’s not only for our use, but is also an end-in-herself.

This raises the following (closely connected) questions. First, what kind of rights over B (a person) must A have in order to count as owning B? Second, does A’s owning B necessarily involve A’s wrongfully objectifying B? I won’t attempt to answer these here, since such difficult questions are the concern of the entire book. I’ll simply note for the present that, although almost 32 O B J E C T I F I C AT I O N everyone is agreed that owning persons is wrong – since it amounts to or is like slavery – it’s rather hard to say how we should distinguish between those clusters of rights which constitute owning a part or aspect of a person (or of her life) (for example, employers’ contractual rights) and those which constitute owning a (‘whole’) person (for example, slavery).

Since my main aims are philosophical rather than psychological, I can’t address in any detail the question of whether the displacement thesis is a good piece of psychology. However, before we move on, two further things can be said about it. First, the fact that the displacement thesis is an empirical generalisation doesn’t make it any less ethically significant (although it does, of course, raise the question of how good the empirical evidence for it is). Indeed, the displacement thesis is an important part of the answer to the question I posed earlier: what exactly is the relationship between treating people as means and the Kantian requirement that we must always treat people as ‘ends’?

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