Department of Social Science Colloquium Presents No Pressure, But Could We Have Your Organs?
September 22, 2016 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
A lecture by Cansu Canca, Ph.D.
The current system of organ donation fails to meet the needs of parents waiting for a transplant. Two policies have the potential to overcome this problem and save lives: a market in organs and the mandatory procurement of organs. However, both policies face criticisms for violating individual autonomy. When a poor individual decides to sell a kidney in a regulated market, is she acting autonomously or under coercion? When a deceased person’s organs are procured for transplantation regardless of the individual’s and the family’s wishes, is their autonomy violated? In this talk, I argue that even if the suppliers in current and futures market in organs are typically financially desperate, this does not make their ac2on coerced. On the other hand, while mandatory procurement of organs from the living certainly violates individual autonomy, the argument from autonomy fails to make a strong case against the mandatory procurement of organs from the deceased.