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A regulated market for living donor kidneys defended and recanted


  • Devooght, Kurt

    () (Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel (HUB), Belgium
    Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium)


Since the first successful renal transplant in 1954, many kidney patients saw their hopes for a better future dashed by the continuous lack of donor kidneys. A regulated market for living donor kidneys has been proposed in order to match supply to demand and to stop illegal and immoral practices of kidney acquisition. This paper presents an elaborated version of a regulated market for kidneys, discusses its advantages and defends it against the criticisms of lack of altruism, lack of free consent and overrepresentation of poor vendors. Next, the appealing commodification counter-argument is discussed but seems to fail on grounds of particularism and paternalism. Finally, both a communitarian and a contractarian argument are developed which I deem fatal for the moral legitimacy of a regulated kidney market.

Suggested Citation

  • Devooght, Kurt, 2008. "A regulated market for living donor kidneys defended and recanted," Working Papers 2008/40, Hogeschool-Universiteit Brussel, Faculteit Economie en Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:hub:wpecon:200840

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