Non-Fiction Books:

Bodies for Sale

Ethics and Exploitation in the Human Body Trade


Paperback / softback

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Bodies for Sale by Stephen Wilkinson
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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.

Author Biography

Stephen Wilkinson is Senior Lecturer in Ethics and Philosophy at Keele University. He has published widely on health care ethics and applied philosophy in journals including Bioethics, the Journal of Applied Philosophy, the Journal of Medical Ethics and Medical Law Review. In 1999 his article on mental illness won the Philosophical Quarterly International Essay Prize.
Release date NZ
March 27th, 2003
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
2 Tables, black and white
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