sh.sePublications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
The Body as Gift, Resource or Commodity?: Heidegger and the Ethics of Organ Transplantation
Södertörn University, School of Culture and Communication, Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8973-8591
2010 (English)In: Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, ISSN 1176-7529, E-ISSN 1872-4353, Vol. 7, no 2, 163-172 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Three metaphors appear to guide contemporary thinking about organ transplantation. Although the gift is the sanctioned metaphor for donating organs, the underlying perspective from the side of the state, authorities and the medical establishment often seems to be that the body shall rather be understood as a resource. The acute scarcity of organs, which generates a desperate demand in relation to a group of potential suppliers who are desperate to an equal extent, leads easily to the gift’s becoming, in reality, not only a resource, but also a commodity. In this paper, the claim is made that a successful explication of the gift metaphor in the case of organ transplantation and a complementary defence of the ethical primacy of the giving of organs need to be grounded in a philosophical anthropology which considers the implications of embodiment in a different and more substantial way than is generally the case in contemporary bioethics. I show that Heidegger’s phenomenology offers such an alternative, with the help of which we can understand why body parts could and, indeed, under certain circumstances, should be given to others in need, but yet are neither resources nor properties to be sold. The phenomenological exploration in question is tied to fundamental questions about what kind of relationship we have to our own bodies, as well as about what kind of relationship we have to each other as human beings sharing the same being-in-the-world as embodied creatures.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 7, no 2, 163-172 p.
Keyword [en]
Organ transplantation, Ethics, Phenomenology, Embodiment, Heidegger
National Category
Medical Ethics Philosophy
Research subject
Critical and Cultural Theory; Baltic and East European studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-7775DOI: 10.1007/s11673-010-9222-xISI: 000277788600004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-77952566118Local ID: 1169/42/2007:3OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-7775DiVA: diva2:409539
Projects
Kroppen som gåva, resurs och vara: organtransplantationer i Östersjöområdet
Funder
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 1169/42/2007:3
Available from: 2011-04-08 Created: 2011-04-08 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Svenaeus, Fredrik
By organisation
Centre for Studies in Practical Knowledge
In the same journal
Journal of Bioethical Inquiry
Medical EthicsPhilosophy

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

Altmetric score

Total: 153 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link