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Virtue Ethics, Bioethics, and the Ownership of Biological Material
KTH, Skolan för arkitektur och samhällsbyggnad (ABE), Filosofi.ORCID-id: 0000-0001-9984-7831
2008 (engelsk)Doktoravhandling, med artikler (Annet vitenskapelig)
Abstract [en]

The overall aim of this thesis is to show how some ideas in Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics can be interpreted and used as a productive way to approach a number of pressing issues in bioethics. Articles I-II introduce, and endorse, a social constructivist perspective on rights (as opposed to the more traditional natural rights idea). It is investigated if the existence of property-like rights to biological material would include the moral right to commodification and even commercialisation. Articles III-V discuss similar questions and more specifically champion the application of an Aristotelian virtue ethics perspective. The articles are preceded by an introductory essay on some of the central themes in the Nicomachean Ethics. This section also includes a very brief account of what the connection between virtue ethics and a theory of social construction, including rights, could look like. The thesis seeks to show that if read somewhat creatively many of the ideas in the Nicomachean Ethics make for a highly useful approach to modern moral problems. It should be noted, however, that this thesis in no way claims to be an exegetic, or a complete, study of the Nicomachean Ethics.

Article I deals with ownership of biological material from a philosophical, as opposed to a legal, perspective. It is argued that a strand in liberal political theory that treats property relations as socially constructed bundles of rights, as developed by e.g. Felix Cohen and Tony Honoré, is well suited for discussions on ownership of biological material.

Article II investigates which differences in biological material might motivate differences in treatment and ownership rights. The article draws on the social constructivist theory of ownership which was developed in Article I.

Article III employs virtue ethics to explain why it is morally permissible to donate but not to sell organs such as kidneys. It is suggested that the former action will bring the agent closer to a state of human flourishing.

Article IV argues that virtues like philia, justice, beneficence and generosity — traditionally all seen as other-regarding — contain strong self-regarding aspects. The central claim is that these self-regarding aspects of the other-regarding virtues are necessary components of complete virtue and thus that the fully virtuous agent has to act virtuously both in her dealings with herself and others.

Article V applies the ideas that were developed in Article IV to the case of living organ donations to next of kin. It is proposed that such an act, although noble and fine, is supererogatory, rather than obligatory, as the donor is morally entitled to be partial to herself. This argument is made against the backdrop of a discussion on some Aristotelian ideas on philia and partiality.

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
Stockholm: KTH , 2008. , s. viii, 121
Serie
Theses in philosophy from the Royal Institute of Technology, ISSN 1650-8831
Emneord [en]
Biological material, ownership, rights, organ, donation, property, commodification, kidney, virtue ethics, natural rights, transplantation, transplant, social organisation
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4814ISBN: 978-91-7178-993-8 (tryckt)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4814DiVA, id: diva2:14109
Disputas
2008-08-27, Sal F3, KTH, Lindstedtsvägen 26, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Veileder
Merknad
QC 20100709Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2010-07-09bibliografisk kontrollert
Delarbeid
1. Bodily Rights and Property Rights
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Bodily Rights and Property Rights
2006 (engelsk)Inngår i: Journal of Medical Ethics, ISSN 0306-6800, E-ISSN 1473-4257, Vol. 32, nr 4, s. 209-214Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Whereas previous discussions on ownership of biological material have been much informed by the natural rights tradition, insufficient attention has been paid to the strand in liberal political theory represented by Felix Cohen, Tony Honore, and others, which treats property relations as socially constructed bundles of rights. In accordance with that tradition, we propose that the primary normative issue is what combination of rights a person should have to a particular item of biological material. Whether that bundle qualifies to be called `` property'' or `` ownership'' is a secondary, terminological issue. We suggest five principles of bodily rights and show how they can be applied to the construction of ethically appropriate bundles of rights to biological material.

Emneord
human tissue, biobanks, commodification, ethics
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8710 (URN)10.1136/jme.2004.011270 (DOI)000236406800006 ()16574874 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-33645759522 (Scopus ID)
Merknad
QC 20100708Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2020-03-09bibliografisk kontrollert
2. Different Types, Different Rights: Distinguishing Between Different Perspectives on Ownership of Biological Material
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Different Types, Different Rights: Distinguishing Between Different Perspectives on Ownership of Biological Material
2007 (engelsk)Inngår i: Science and Engineering Ethics, ISSN 1353-3452, E-ISSN 1471-5546, Vol. 13, nr 2, s. 221-233Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Abstract [en]

Drawing on a social construction theory of ownership in biological material this paper discusses which differences in biological material might motivate differences in treatment and ownership rights. The analysis covers both the perspective of the person from whom the material originates and that of the potential recipient. Seven components of bundles of rights, drawing on the analytical tradition of Tony Honore, and their relationship to various types of biological material are investigated. To exemplify these categories the cases of a heart, a kidney, stem cells and hair are used.

Emneord
biological material; rights; ownership; commodification; commercialization; PROPERTY; BIOBANKS; COMMODIFICATION; CREATIONS; ETHICS; TISSUE
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8711 (URN)10.1007/s11948-007-9005-x (DOI)000249586700008 ()17717734 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-34548711937 (Scopus ID)
Merknad
QC 20100708Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2020-03-09bibliografisk kontrollert
3. Why We are Not Allowed to Sell that Which We are Encouraged to Donate
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Why We are Not Allowed to Sell that Which We are Encouraged to Donate
2006 (engelsk)Inngår i: Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, ISSN 0963-1801, E-ISSN 1469-2147, Vol. 15, nr 1, s. 60-70Artikkel i tidsskrift (Fagfellevurdert) Published
Emneord
Analytical Approach; commodification; donor; economics; ethical theory; ethics; Health Care and Public Health; human; morality; organ transplantation; review; transplantation; Tissue and Organ Procurement; Tissue Donors; Virtues
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8712 (URN)10.1017/S0963180106060075 (DOI)000234926500007 ()16529308 (PubMedID)2-s2.0-33644910480 (Scopus ID)
Merknad
QC 20100708Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2017-12-14bibliografisk kontrollert
4. On the Necessary Self-regarding Aspects of Other-regarding Virtues
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>On the Necessary Self-regarding Aspects of Other-regarding Virtues
(engelsk)Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig) Submitted
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8713 (URN)
Merknad
QC 20100709Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2010-07-09bibliografisk kontrollert
5. Why Organ Donation from the Living is a Supererogatory Act: A Discussion on Philia and the Moral Right to Favour Oneself
Åpne denne publikasjonen i ny fane eller vindu >>Why Organ Donation from the Living is a Supererogatory Act: A Discussion on Philia and the Moral Right to Favour Oneself
(engelsk)Artikkel i tidsskrift (Annet vitenskapelig) Submitted
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-8714 (URN)
Merknad
QC 20100709Tilgjengelig fra: 2008-06-09 Laget: 2008-06-09 Sist oppdatert: 2010-07-09bibliografisk kontrollert

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