Kidney for Sale by Owner: Human Organs, Transplantation, and the Market

Georgetown University Press
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If most Americans accept the notion that the market is the most efficient means to distribute resources, why should body parts be excluded?

Each year thousands of people die waiting for organ transplants. Many of these deaths could have been prevented were it not for the almost universal moral hand-wringing over the concept of selling human organs. Kidney for Sale by Owner, now with a new preface, boldly deconstructs the roadblocks that are standing in the way of restoring health to thousands of people. Author and bioethicist Mark Cherry reasserts the case that health care could be improved and lives saved by introducing a regulated transplant organs market rather than by well-meant, but misguided, prohibitions.

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About the author

Mark J. Cherry is the Dr. Patricia A. Hayes Professor in Applied Ethics and professor of philosophy at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas. He is editor of The Journal of Medicine and Philosophy, associate senior editor of Christian Bioethics, and editor-in-chief of HealthCare Ethics Committee Forum. He is coeditor of the book series The Annals of Bioethics and editor of the book series Philosophical Studies in Contemporary Culture.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Georgetown University Press
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Published on
Mar 19, 2005
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Pages
280
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ISBN
9781589013551
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Medical / Ethics
Medical / Surgery / Transplant
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Western philosophy has long nurtured the hope to resolve moral controversies through reason; thereby to secure moral direction and human meaning without the need for a defining encounter with God or the transcendent. The expectation is for a moral rationality that is universal and able adequately to frame and guide the moral life. Moral and cultural unity was sought though philosophical reflection on human nature and the basic goods of a properly nurtured and virtuous life—that is, through appeal to what has come to be called the natural law.

The natural law addresses permissible moral choice through objective understandings of human nature and human goods. Persons are obligated to act in ways that are compatible with creating and integrating the basic human goods into their lives and the lives of others. Such goods provide the basis for practical reasoning about virtuous choices and immediate reasons for action. The goal is the making of rational choices in the pursuit of a virtuous, flourishing, human life. Natural law theorists have argued extensively against human cloning, abortion, and same-gender marriage.

Yet, whose assumptions regarding human nature should guide our understanding of the basic goods that mark the full flourishing human life? Moreover, why should nature, even human nature, be thought of as a moral boundary beyond which one must not trespass? Persons may wish actively to direct human evolution, utilizing the tools of both imagination and biotechnology. Perhaps nature is simply a challenge to be addressed, overcome, and set aside.

This volume is a critical exploration of natural law theory.

From the era of slavery to the present day, the first full history of black America’s shocking mistreatment as unwilling and unwitting experimental subjects at the hands of the medical establishment.

Medical Apartheid is the first and only comprehensive history of medical experimentation on African Americans. Starting with the earliest encounters between black Americans and Western medical researchers and the racist pseudoscience that resulted, it details the ways both slaves and freedmen were used in hospitals for experiments conducted without their knowledge—a tradition that continues today within some black populations. It reveals how blacks have historically been prey to grave-robbing as well as unauthorized autopsies and dissections. Moving into the twentieth century, it shows how the pseudoscience of eugenics and social Darwinism was used to justify experimental exploitation and shoddy medical treatment of blacks, and the view that they were biologically inferior, oversexed, and unfit for adult responsibilities. Shocking new details about the government’s notorious Tuskegee experiment are revealed, as are similar, less-well-known medical atrocities conducted by the government, the armed forces, prisons, and private institutions.

The product of years of prodigious research into medical journals and experimental reports long undisturbed, Medical Apartheid reveals the hidden underbelly of scientific research and makes possible, for the first time, an understanding of the roots of the African American health deficit. At last, it provides the fullest possible context for comprehending the behavioral fallout that has caused black Americans to view researchers—and indeed the whole medical establishment—with such deep distrust. No one concerned with issues of public health and racial justice can afford not to read Medical Apartheid, a masterful book that will stir up both controversy and long-needed debate.
Listen to a short interview with Michael Sandel Host: Chris Gondek - Producer: Heron & Crane Breakthroughs in genetics present us with a promise and a predicament. The promise is that we will soon be able to treat and prevent a host of debilitating diseases. The predicament is that our newfound genetic knowledge may enable us to manipulate our nature--to enhance our genetic traits and those of our children. Although most people find at least some forms of genetic engineering disquieting, it is not easy to articulate why. What is wrong with re-engineering our nature? The Case against Perfection explores these and other moral quandaries connected with the quest to perfect ourselves and our children. Michael Sandel argues that the pursuit of perfection is flawed for reasons that go beyond safety and fairness. The drive to enhance human nature through genetic technologies is objectionable because it represents a bid for mastery and dominion that fails to appreciate the gifted character of human powers and achievements. Carrying us beyond familiar terms of political discourse, this book contends that the genetic revolution will change the way philosophers discuss ethics and will force spiritual questions back onto the political agenda. In order to grapple with the ethics of enhancement, we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the modern world. Since these questions verge on theology, modern philosophers and political theorists tend to shrink from them. But our new powers of biotechnology make these questions unavoidable. Addressing them is the task of this book, by one of America's preeminent moral and political thinkers.
Extraordinary social and moral shifts have taken place in Western societies. Sex is no longer the exclusive province of husband and wife set within monogamous married family life. The world is awash in sex: advertising, books, magazines, movies, sex clubs, internet pornography, etc. Parents, traditionally responsible for guiding their children’s moral and social development, have been effectively sidelined by commercial and governmental interests. This volume pursues a detailed study of how changes in social life dating from the sexual revolution of the 1960s have affected the family. Cherry shows that attempts to redefine the family away from the marital union of husband and wife come with real costs: social, emotional, psychological, and financial. He argues that while political campaigns have fueled attempts to undermine the traditional family, to pretend it possesses no basic biological, social, or moral reality, such ideologically driven undertakings are injurious to society. Acting as if there are no consequential differences between traditional marriage and other sexual lifestyles ignores significant data demonstrating the importance of the traditional biological family to the well-being of men and women, and the successful raising of children. The family possesses a biological and moral being that is foundational; an essential building block of society. Cherry argues that the family is the most incontrovertible field of conflict in the culture wars; others might conclude that it is the decisive battleground.
Western philosophy has long nurtured the hope to resolve moral controversies through reason; thereby to secure moral direction and human meaning without the need for a defining encounter with God or the transcendent. The expectation is for a moral rationality that is universal and able adequately to frame and guide the moral life. Moral and cultural unity was sought though philosophical reflection on human nature and the basic goods of a properly nurtured and virtuous life—that is, through appeal to what has come to be called the natural law.

The natural law addresses permissible moral choice through objective understandings of human nature and human goods. Persons are obligated to act in ways that are compatible with creating and integrating the basic human goods into their lives and the lives of others. Such goods provide the basis for practical reasoning about virtuous choices and immediate reasons for action. The goal is the making of rational choices in the pursuit of a virtuous, flourishing, human life. Natural law theorists have argued extensively against human cloning, abortion, and same-gender marriage.

Yet, whose assumptions regarding human nature should guide our understanding of the basic goods that mark the full flourishing human life? Moreover, why should nature, even human nature, be thought of as a moral boundary beyond which one must not trespass? Persons may wish actively to direct human evolution, utilizing the tools of both imagination and biotechnology. Perhaps nature is simply a challenge to be addressed, overcome, and set aside.

This volume is a critical exploration of natural law theory.

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