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J Med Ethics. 2012 Aug;38(8):451-7. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2011-100163. Epub 2011 Dec 17.

Ethics, organ donation and tax: a proposal.

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Department of Philosophy, University of Roskilde, Roskilde 4000, Denmark.


Five arguments are presented in favour of the proposal that people who opt in as organ donors should receive a tax break. These arguments appeal to welfare, autonomy, fairness, distributive justice and self-ownership, respectively. Eight worries about the proposal are considered in this paper. These objections focus upon no-effect and counter-productiveness, the Titmuss concern about social meaning, exploitation of the poor, commodification, inequality and unequal status, the notion that there are better alternatives, unacceptable expense, and concerns about the veto of relatives. The paper argues that none of the objections to the proposal is very telling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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