Title

The Ethical Principle of Vulnerability and the Case Against Human Organ Trafficking

Author Department

Patient Care Services

Document Type

Article, Peer-reviewed

Publication Date

5-2018

Abstract

An increasingly blurred understanding of the ethical significance of global "transplant transactions" - a curious combination of altruism and commerce, consent and coercion, gifts and theft, science and sorcery, care and human sacrifice - suggest a critical need to revisit the fundamental moral normlessness of the trafficking enterprise. This essay grounds its arguments in two, straightforward premises: (i) the ethical principle of respect for human vulnerability is an indispensable measure of the licitness of most, if not all, moral actions; and (ii) human organ trafficking violates the ethical principle of respect for human vulnerability. Drawing from this syllogism, the aim and proposal of this essay posits the argument that human organ trafficking cannot, in most, if not all, cases, be morally justified insofar as it violates the ethical principle of respect for human vulnerability.

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