The Notion of Gift-Giving and Organ Donation
Bioethics. 1994 Apr; 8(2): 127-150.
The analogy between gift-giving and organ donation was first suggested at the beginning of the transplantation era, when policy makers and legislators were promoting voluntary organ donation as the preferred procurement procedure. It was believed that the practice of gift-giving had some features which were also thought to be necessary to ensure that an organ procurement procedure would be morally acceptable, namely voluntarism and altruism. Twenty-five years later, the analogy between gift-giving and organ donation is still being made in the literature and used in organ donation awareness campaigns. In this paper I want to challenge this analogy. By examining a range of circumstances in which gift-giving occurs, I argue that the significant differences between the various types of gift-giving and organ donation makes any analogy between the two very general and superficial, and I suggest that a more appropriate analogy can be found elsewhere.
Altruism; Analogy; Beneficence; Body Parts and Fluids; Cadavers; Family Members; Gifts; Incentives; Literature; Moral Obligations; Motivation; Organ Donation; Organ Procurement; Public Policy; Remuneration; Selection for Treatment; Terminology; Tissue Donation; Transplant Recipients; Transplantation; Voluntary Programs;
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