Johnson, Joseph (2019) What should be the role of social value in organ allocation decisions? Doctoral thesis, Keele University.

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Abstract

With this thesis, I argue that when selecting which patient should be the recipient of an organ for transplant, a social value judgment about the patient should be included alongside judgments about the patient’s level of urgency and prognosis. The reason for this suggestion is that better use can be made of scarce organ resources, in terms of the overall welfare created from each transplant, if the wider effects of the transplant for society are taken into account rather than simply how likely it is that the patient will benefit. I argue that the survival of a patient that makes valuable contributions to society will create more overall welfare than the survival of a patient who makes less valuable contributions. Other commentators have made similar suggestions, however, their discussion of the issue is relatively brief and as such, their arguments are not comprehensive enough to stand up to criticism.
With this thesis, I go beyond their limited discussion and provide an original contribution to knowledge by way of providing a much more detailed analysis of the ethical issues surrounding the inclusion of social value considerations in organ allocation decisions than has been given before, thereby providing a stronger and more convincing case for their inclusion. In order to support this, I also provide a viable framework for how these social value considerations can be acceptably incorporated into the organ allocation decision from both an ethical and practical perspective, something that is sorely missed from the existing literature. Whilst the inclusion of social value judgments into resource allocation decisions has negative associations, I have presented a possible system whereby they can be included alongside the current organ allocation system in such a way that other important values, such as equality and fairness, can be maintained.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Social value, organ allocation, organs, transplant, patient selection, resource allocation, Seattle, social worth, criteria
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Law
Depositing User: Lisa Bailey
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2019 09:45
Last Modified: 19 Jun 2019 09:45
URI: http://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/6506

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