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Ethics of the Sale of Body Parts - Essay Example

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Ethics of the Sale of Body Parts

So, what is the cross-section where these two areas meet? Is it ever ethical to, in effect, “sell” body parts? Blood and semen are bodily fluids that are donated for money—so what would make donating body parts that much more different? For one thing, the sale of body parts in the U.S.—or anywhere else, as a matter of fact—is ethically questionable, at best. According to Wilkinson (2003), “Many of the arguments [we will] address…apply equally to all body parts and, indeed, to all body products” (pp. 101). Legally speaking, the sale of body parts is strictly forbidden in the United States. According to Gunning and Holm (2007), “For example, property right in human body or body parts is forbidden in the United States” (pp. 169). This is for many reasons, one of them being that the idea of trading body parts for cash could lead to the poor and disadvantaged selling their body parts for money. Also, people might sell these body parts wholesale, making the black market for body parts even greater. Section II. Five Ethical Issues Associated With the Sale of Body Parts Five ethical issues with regard to the sale of body parts—outside of the biomedical ethical standpoint—is that such a practice would be morally wrong, it would take away the human dignity of the sellers, it would take away the human dignity of the person whose body part would be taken, it would take away from the dignity of the doctors, and also create greed within the buyers. The mere practice of selling body parts would be wrong—not to mention the donation of an organ—in Judaism and Islam. The importance of the body being whole is emphasized due to the fact that going to the afterlife depends upon how one took care of one’s body. According to Holland and Johnson (1998), “For it may be thought that the human body has a significance that is incompatible with treating its parts as items for sale in a body shop or that such treatment is an affront to human dignity and respect for self” (pp. 192). Sellers’, doctors’, and recipients’ dignity would also be compromised. The dignity of the person whose body part would be taken would definitely be diminished by donating a body part for cash. According to Miller (2010), “It doesn't follow, though, that the sale of body parts is good for the parties or for the rest of us. Such sales—or gifts—might unduly alienate the seller from parts of his or her body that are and should remain so integral to [oneself]” (pp. 235). Section III. The Position of a Biomedical Products Engineer on the Sale of Body Parts, Using Two Ethical Theories (Utilitarianism and the Golden Rule) The two ethical theories that were selected were utilitarianism and the Golden Rule. Both of these ethical theories could both be applied to the pro as well as the con sides of the argument. With regard to utilitarianism, biomedical products can be used expediently for the greatest good of all. That may seem to endorse the sale of organs or body parts, but actually it doesn’t, therefore it shouldn’t be allowed. The sale of organs is actually prohibited for the good of everyone, because such sales would ultimately create a larger black market for body parts, and murders would skyrocket in number. Utilitarianism is generally regarded as “the greatest good for the greatest number.” Of course, utilitarianism does not always end up being the best deal out fo the bunch. According to Brandt (1992), “ ...Show more

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ETHICS Ethics of the Sale of Body Parts ? Word Count: 1,276 (5 pages) Section I. The Legal Status of the Sale of Body Parts in the U.S. A shortage of human organ donation has led to the ethical question: should the sale of body parts be legal in the United States?…
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