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Are bans on kidney sales unjustifiably paternalistic?
Linköping University, Department of Medical and Health Sciences, Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3071-9609
2014 (English)In: Bioethics, ISSN 0269-9702, E-ISSN 1467-8519, Vol. 28, no 3, 110-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper challenges the view that bans on kidney sales are unjustifiably paternalistic, that is, that they unduly deny people the freedom to make decisions about their own bodies in order to protect them from harm. I argue that not even principled anti-paternalists need to reject such bans. This is because their rationale is not hard paternalism, which anti-paternalists repudiate, but soft paternalism, which they in principle accept. More precisely, I suggest that their rationale is what Franklin Miller and Alan Wertheimer call ‘group soft paternalism’. Group soft paternalistic policies restrict the freedom of autonomous individuals, not for their own good (hard paternalism), but as an unavoidable consequence of seeking to protect other, non-autonomous individuals from harms that they have not voluntarily chosen (soft paternalism). Group soft paternalism supports prohibiting kidney sales on three conditions: (1) that such sales are potentially harmful to vendors, (2) that many vendors would suffer impaired autonomy, and (3) that distinguishing between autonomous and non-autonomous vendors and interfering only with the latter is unfeasible. I provide reasons for thinking that these conditions will often hold.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
John Wiley & Sons, 2014. Vol. 28, no 3, 110-118 p.
Keyword [en]
paternalism, liberty, kidney transplantation, kidney sales
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-91288DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2012.01984.xOAI: diva2:616837
Available from: 2013-04-19 Created: 2013-04-19 Last updated: 2016-05-04Bibliographically approved

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Malmqvist, Erik
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Health and SocietyFaculty of Health Sciences
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