Calculation and compassion: economics and the problem of transplant organs

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    The scarcity of organs for transplant has sparked a vigorous debate over the ethicality of organ sales, with lines of argument now well drawn among philosophers, bioethicists and sociologists. This paper considers a novel aspect, the contribution of economics to the topic. It shows that economics enters the debates over organ transplants in three ways. First of all, in the philosophical literature on organ sales, protagonists of the market rely on a distinctly neo-classical conception of the possibilities afforded by the market system. Secondly, assuming that a working market will ease shortages, economists debate the feasibility of efficient market function. Finally, game theorists and operations researchers challenge medical ethics with ruthless calculations of efficient allocation. This paper analyses the relationship of economics with ethics and highlights the negative effects of calculation on compassionate practice.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    EventAcademy of Management Annual Meeting - Montreal, Canada
    Duration: 6 Aug 201010 Aug 2010


    ConferenceAcademy of Management Annual Meeting


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