The Moral Evaluation of Living Organ Donation and Trade in Human Organs in Light of Kant's Ethics (in Polish)

Main Article Content

Piotr Grzegorz Nowak


In the article I justify the acceptability of ex vivo transplantation and I provide the ethical evaluation of trafficking in human organs from the Kantian perspective. Firstly, I refer to passages of Kant's works, where he explicitly states that depriving oneself of one’s body parts for other purposes than self-preservation is not permitted. I explain that the negative ethical evaluation of the disposal of the body parts was given various justifications by Kant. Subsequently, I provide partial criticism of this justification, resulting in the recognition of the admissibility of ex vivo transplantation. Secondly, I analyse the Kantian slippery-slope argument which, as some philosophers believe, supports banning trade in human organs. It turns out, however, that this argument has wider application, namely it applies to all forms of the instrumental treatment of the human body. Using a previously introduced distinction between organs of the first and the second order, I show that the slippery-slope argument is inconclusive. However, I propose a reinterpretation of this reasoning, which results in using this argument as an additional reason to support prohibiting trade in human organs.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nowak, Piotr Grzegorz. 2015. “The Moral Evaluation of Living Organ Donation and Trade in Human Organs in Light of Kant’s Ethics (in Polish)”. Diametros, no. 46 (December):30-54.
Author Biography

Piotr Grzegorz Nowak, Jagiellonian University

Piotr Grzegorz Nowak , MAJagiellonian UniversityDepartment of Philosophyul. Grodzka 52Pl-31-044E-mail:
Share |


Kant [2005a] – I. Kant, Idea powszechnej historii w aspekcie kosmopolitycznym, przeł. Translatorium Filozofii Niemieckiej Instytutu Filozofii Uniwersytetu im. Mikołaja Kopernika pod kierunkiem Mirosława Żelaznego w składzie: Tomasz Kupś, Dariusz Pakalski, Adam Grzeliński, Mirosław Żelazny, [w:] idem, Rozprawy z filozofii historii, Antyk, Kęty 2005.

Kant [1986] – I. Kant, Krytyka władzy sądzenia, przeł. J. Gałecki, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, Warszawa 1986.

Kant [1997] – I. Kant, Lectures on Ethics, przeł. P. Heath, P. Heath i J.B. Schneewind (red.), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1997.

Kant [1924] – I. Kant, Eine Vorlesung Kants über Ethik: im Auftrage der Kantgesellschaft, Hrsg. Paul Menzer, Pan Verlag Rolf Heise, Berlin 1924.

Kant [2005b] – I. Kant, Metafizyczne podstawy nauki o cnocie, przeł. W. Galewicz, Antyk, Kęty 2005.

Kant [2006] – I. Kant, Metafizyczne podstawy nauki prawa, przeł. W. Galewicz, Wydawnictwo Marek Derewiecki, Kęty 2006.

Kant [1984] – I. Kant, Uzasadnienie metafizyki moralności, przeł. M. Wartenberg, PWN, Warszawa 1984.

Brechrer [1994] – B. Brechrer, Organ for transplant: donation or payment [w:] Principles of Health Care Ethics, R. Gilon (red.), John Wiley & Sons Ltd., New York 1994.

Burgess [1993] – J.A. Burgess, The great slippery-slope argument, „Journal of medical ethics” (19) 1993, s. 169–174.

Chadwick [1989] – R. Chadwick, The Market for Bodily Parts: Kant and duties to oneself, „Journal of Applied Philosophy” (6) 1989.

Chyrowicz [2009] – B. Chyrowicz, Argumentacja we współczesnych debatach bioetycznych, „Diametros” (19) 2009.

Cohen [1992] – C. Cohen, The Case for Presumed Consent to Transplant Human Organs After Death, „Transplantation Proceedings” (27) 1992, s. 2168–20172.

Erin, Haris [2002] – C.A. Erin, J. Haris, An ethical market in human organs, „Journal of Medical Ethics” (29) 2002, s. 137–138.

Gerrand [1999] – N. Gerrand, The Misuse of Kant in the Debate about a Market for Human Body Parts, „Journal of Applied Philosophy” (16) 1999, s. 59–67.

Gill [2004] – M. B. Gill, Presumed Consent, Autonomy, and Organ Donation, „Journal of Medicine and Philosophy” (29) 2004, s. 37–59.

Gill, Sade [2002] – M.B. Gill, R.M. Sade, Paying for Kidneys: The Case against Prohibition, „Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal” (12) 2002, s. 17–45.

Glover [1990] – J. Glover, Side-Effects and Society: The Wedge Problem, [w:] idem, Causing Death and Saving Lives, Penguin Books, London 1990.

Hill [1980] – T.E. Hill, Jr, Humanity as an End in Itself, „Ethics” (91) 1980, s. 84–99.

Hippen [2005] – B.E. Hippen, In Defense of a Regulated Market in Kidneys from Living Vendors, „Journal of Medicine and Philosophy” (30) 2005, s. 593–626.

Hołówka [2007] – T. Hołówka, Kultura logiczna w przykładach, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2007.

Kerstein [2008] – S. Kerstein, Kantian Condemnation of Commerce in Organs, „Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal” (19) 2008, s. 147–169.

Korsgaard [1996a] – Ch. Korsgaard, Kant's Formula of Universal Law, [w:] idem, Creating the Kingdom of Ends, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.

Korsgaard [1996b] – Ch. Korsgaard, Morality as freedom, [w:] idem, Creating the Kingdom of Ends, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.

Korsgaard [1989] – Ch. Korsgaard, Personal Identity and the Unity of Agency: A Kantian Response to Parfit, „Philosophy & Public Affairs” (11) 1996, s. 101–132.

Korsgaard [1983] – Ch. Korsgaard, Two Distinctions in Goodness, „The Philosophical Review” (92) 1996, s. 169–195.

Loux [1998] – M.J. Loux, Concrete particulars II – Persistence through time [w:] idem, Metaphisics. A contemporary Introduction, London: Routledge 1998.

Manninen [2014] – B.A. Manninen, A Kantian Defense of Abortion Rights with Respect for Intrauterine Life, „Diametros” (39) 2014, s. 70–92.

Merle [2000] – J. Merle, A Kantian argument for Duty to Donate One's Own Organs. A Reply to Nicole Gerrand, „Journal of Applied Philosophy” (17) 2000, s. 93–101.

Morelli [1999] – M. Morelli, Commerce in Organs: a Kantian Critique, „Journal of Social Philosophy” (30) 1999, s. 315–324.

Nowacka [2003] – M. Nowacka, Etyka a transplantacje, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2003.

O'Neill [2004] – O. O'Neill, Which are the offers you can’t refuse?, [w:] idem, Bounds of Justice, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2004.

O'Neill [2004] – O. O'Neill, The Moral Perplexities of Famine and World Hunger, [w:] Matters of Life and Death: New Introductory Essays in Moral Philosophy, T. Regan (red.), Random House, New York 2004.

Olson [2010] – E.T. Olson, Personal Identity, [w:] The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, E.N. Zalta (red.), Winter 2010 Edition.

Ramsey [1977] – P. Ramsey, Pacjent jest osobą, przeł. S. Łypacewicz, Instytut Wydawniczy PAX, Warszawa 1977.

Szewczyk [2009] – K. Szewczyk, Etyka transplantacji, [w:] idem, Bioetyka, t. 2: Pacjent w sys-temie opieki zdrowotnej, Wydawnictwo Naukowe PWN, Warszawa 2009.

Wilkinson [2011] – T.M. Wilkinson, Ethics and the Acquisition of Organs, Oxford University Press, New York 2011.

Wichrowski [1994] – M. Wichrowski, Wnioskowanie „równi pochyłej” a etyka medyczna, „Etyka” (27) 1994, s. 119–125.

Zimny [2013] – T. Zimny, Komercjalizacja ludzkiego ciała, [w:] Bioetyka, J. Różyńska i W. Chańska (red.), Wolters Kuwler SA, Warszawa 2013.