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gmac1994's avatar

What would Immanuel Kant think of organ sale?

Asked by gmac1994 (13points) November 27th, 2012

I was just reading something about how a woman wanted to give her organ because it is good money, and she had serious debts. However, federal and state laws prohibit buying or selling of a human organ or tissue.

Thousands of people are waiting for organs, their lives would be saved… If you have an organ to save a life, then why can’t you give it? Hospitals, doctors, and drug companies all benefit-why not the donor?

I want to know what do your personal opinion is too, if you want to add. But I mainly want to challenge you to focus on Kant’s moral philosophy and his opinion on this particular subject.

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9 Answers

kitszu's avatar

I think the government made it illegal to keep desparate people safe from predators. They offer to buy a kidney, well they also have orders in for a heart, a liver, a lung (maybe two). What is to keep them from fulfilling those orders from the same person who was offered payment for a kidney?

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Vincentt's avatar

Because that would only pressure poor people into donating their organs, instead of the truly willing.

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LostInParadise's avatar

While I go along with @Vincentt ‘s reasoning, we cannot apply it to what Kant would have thought. Kant believed that actions had an a priori morality irrespective of their consequences. Kant said that we must not treat others as a means but only as an ends. I do not see how Kant would be able to distinguish selling organs from any other type of commerce.

josie's avatar

The one way you know that you own something, that it is in fact yours, is if you can sell it to whomever you choose.
Therefore, since you cannot sell your organs to whomever you choose, you do not own them.
Therefore, since the government prohibits you from selling them, or at least regulates who might receive them, the government presumes that it owns your organs.
Therefore, the government owns you.
The situation doesn’t get better after that. And this is a democracy, so people actually approve of this notion through their votes.
Oh well.

ragingloli's avatar

That would turn poor people into cattle, quite literally.

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Celtic_One's avatar

My guess would be if it was legal to buy and sell human organs, than there would be a market for people to go out and kill others for the sole sake of stealing their organs to sell. Reminds me of when I was in high school and the one teacher had a human skeleton hanging up in the corner of the room and he told us how it is real and that all the new ones are fake. The reason why supply companies stopped selling real human skeletons in favor of fake ones for educational purposes was that it came out that the countries where they were coming from where having high rates of people disappearing without a trace. Yet when they started selling only fake bones the rate of people disappearing without a trace in those countries went down almost instantly. So if people guilty for gain would kill other people just to be able to sell their bones, how much more would they be willing to kill other people so that rich people can get their organs to live longer.

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