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How altruistic organ donation may be (intrinsically) bad

How altruistic organ donation may be (intrinsically) bad
How altruistic organ donation may be (intrinsically) bad
It has traditionally been assumed that organ donation must be altruistic, though the necessity of altruistic motivations has recently been questioned. Few, however, have questioned whether altruism is always a good motive. This paper considers the possibility that excessive altruism, or self-abnegation, may be intrinsically bad. How this may be so is illustrated with reference to Tom Hurka’s account of the value of attitudes, which suggests that disproportionate love of one’s own good – either excessive or deficient – is intrinsically bad. Whether or not we accept the details of this account, recognising that altruistic motivations may be intrinsically bad has important implications for organ procurement. One possible response is to say that we should take further measures to ensure that donors have good motives – that they are altruistic is no longer enough. An alternative is to say that, since altruistic donation need not be intrinsically good, we have less reason to object to other motivations.
altruism; ethics; organ donation; value; virtue
1473-4257
681-684
Saunders, Ben
aed7ba9f-f519-4bbf-a554-db25b684037d
Saunders, Ben
aed7ba9f-f519-4bbf-a554-db25b684037d

Saunders, Ben (2018) How altruistic organ donation may be (intrinsically) bad. Journal of Medical Ethics, 44 (10), 681-684. (doi:10.1136/medethics-2018-104817).

Record type: Article

Abstract

It has traditionally been assumed that organ donation must be altruistic, though the necessity of altruistic motivations has recently been questioned. Few, however, have questioned whether altruism is always a good motive. This paper considers the possibility that excessive altruism, or self-abnegation, may be intrinsically bad. How this may be so is illustrated with reference to Tom Hurka’s account of the value of attitudes, which suggests that disproportionate love of one’s own good – either excessive or deficient – is intrinsically bad. Whether or not we accept the details of this account, recognising that altruistic motivations may be intrinsically bad has important implications for organ procurement. One possible response is to say that we should take further measures to ensure that donors have good motives – that they are altruistic is no longer enough. An alternative is to say that, since altruistic donation need not be intrinsically good, we have less reason to object to other motivations.

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JME R&R clean Altruistic Donation - Accepted Manuscript
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 22 May 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 June 2018
Published date: October 2018
Keywords: altruism; ethics; organ donation; value; virtue

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421140
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421140
ISSN: 1473-4257
PURE UUID: 9a90b860-1d97-4b22-b2b6-6aacace23a95
ORCID for Ben Saunders: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-5147-6397

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 23 May 2018 16:30
Last modified: 10 Jan 2022 06:17

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