Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade

Do people have a moral right to sell their kidneys, or other body parts? Is it wrong to receive money for being a surrogate mother? Can we - and should we - patent DNA? How ethical is the 'commodification' of the human body? Bodies for Sale: Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade explores the philosophical and practical issues raised by activities such as surrogacy and organ trafficking. Stephen Wilkinson asks what is it that makes some commercial uses of the body controversial, whether the arguments against commercial exploitation stand up, and whether legislation outlawing such practices is really justified. In Part One Wilkinson explains and analyses some of the notoriously slippery concepts used in the body commodification debate, including exploitation, harm and consent. In Part Two he focuses on three controversial issues (the buying and selling of human kidneys, commercial surrogacy, and DNA patenting) outlining contemporary regulation and investigating both the moral issues and the arguments for legal prohibition. Combining philosophical analysis with a detailed examination of current practice, Bodies for Sale is a comprehensive introduction to the ethics of body commodification and will be of interest to students of philosophy, politics and law as well as anyone with a serious interest in healthcare ethics and policy.

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