Why the body matters
Reflections on John Harris’s account of organ procurement
in From reason to practice in bioethics
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This chapter critically evaluates John Harris's arguments for the rocurement of organs and tissues from the living and the dead. Harris regards objections to the use of material from dead bodies for life-saving purposes as "implausible to the point of wickedness", sharing the view of Emson that cadavers should be regarded as a national resource to be put at the disposal of the state. In the case of tissue and organs from the living he is in favour of an "ethical market" to ensure an adequate supply for transplantation and other medical purposes. Against these views it is argued that we need to escape from a Cartesian dualistic view of mind and body, which commits us to an overly restrictive account of rationality, a neglect of morally relevant human emotions, and a failure to see the centrality of our embodiment in our understanding of ourselves and others as persons of worth.

From reason to practice in bioethics

An anthology dedicated to the works of John Harris

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