Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, Volume 31, Issue 4, pp 303-315

First online:

The metaphysical basis of a liberal organ procurement policy

  • David B. HershenovAffiliated withUniversity at Buffalo Email author 
  • , James J. DelaneyAffiliated withNiagara University

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There remains a need to properly analyze the metaphysical assumptions underlying two organ procurement policies: presumed consent and organ sales. Our contention is that if one correctly understands the metaphysics of both the human body and material property, then it will turn out that while organ sales are illiberal, presumed consent is not. What we mean by illiberal includes violating rights of bodily integrity, property, or autonomy, as well as arguing for or against a policy in a manner that runs afoul of Rawlsian public reason.


Presumed consent Bodily integrity Public reason