Directed Organ Donation: Discrimination or Autonomy?
Journal of Applied Philosophy 2007; 24(1): 41-49
Numerous measures have been proposed to change the collection procedure in order to increase the supply of organ donations. One such proposal is to give the candidate donors the right to direct their organs to groups of recipients characterised by specific features like sex, age, disease and geographic location. Four possible justifications for directed donation of organs are considered: the utilitarian benefit, the egalitarian principle of justice, the maximin principle of justice and the autonomy principle. It is concluded that none of these principles justifies the acceptance of designated donations. When potentially life-saving resources are distributed, only a pure egalitarian distribution is in agreement with the principle of justice.