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Essay example - The Survival Lottery By John Harris

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Pages 4 (1004 words)
The Survival Lottery is an experiment in thought whose proponent is John Harris. The core of the idea is to ask people to imagine if organ donations were expected to save more individuals than it would kill. Haris states that hypothetically all healthy individuals are assigned a unique number and drawn under a lottery whenever a donation is required(Harris,1986).Such drawn healthy people are expected to give up their lives to allow two or more terminally ill people to live through their organs.Harris assumes that all the required transplants are critical.That is, if the such transplants were not forthcoming then the ill would get killed.Further none of the organ failures resulted out …

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Harris also assumes that no organs are available from the already dead so as to make the ethical choice sharp and clear.Lastly ,an obvious assumption is that the transplantation technology has achieved the status of ensuring complete success and that ill individual would live after the transplant.
If organ donation was perfect and there was no difference between killing and letting die. Then we should adopt the Survival Lottery. The proposition by John Harris can be seen as an argument against Utilitarianism, although Harris himself often makes Utilitarian claims in his work.
Let us adopt the famous illustration of Harris viz. that of three persons A,Y & Z.A is healthy and is potential target for organ transplant and Y & Z are both terminally ill and can be saved by organ(s) donation from A and subsequent 100% successfully done transplant(s). ...
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