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Why We Should be Buying Kidneys from ‘Donors’ from Poor Countries

By canberra_skeptics - 8 January 2011 5

A Canberra Skeptics Lecture
Speaker: Dr. Jeremy Shearmur
Time: 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Place: Lecture theatre, Innovations Building, Eggleston Rd, ANU

There is currently a shortage of kidneys in Australia – in the sense of there being people who will live poor-quality lives on dialysis, and die, because of kidney failure. Things will soon get much worse, not least because of the effects of type-2 diabetes, which is now becoming increasingly prevalent in our population. The government favours the kind of approach that has been adopted in Spain, in which particularly good efforts are made to ‘harvest’ the kidneys of those who are suitable to donate, who die on life support. This approach, even if fully adopted, could not possibly resolve the problems that will face us. Dr Jeremy Shearmur will argue that what we should work towards is a fully legalized, and also privately certified, program for the purchase of kidneys from healthy, voluntary live donors from poorer countries. Dr Shearmur will explain why, on the one side, the ethical objections to such a program are mistaken and how practical difficulties can be overcome. He will also argue that this is also currently to be preferred to all other feasible options known to him.

Jeremy Shearmur is a Reader in Philosophy, and currently Deputy Head of School, in the School of Philosophy, Australian National University. He has previously worked at the London School of Economics, the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester and George Mason University, and was also Director of Studies at the Centre for Policy Studies in London. He has written books on Friedrich Hayek and Karl Popper, and was co-editor of Popper’s After The Open Society. He has also published widely on issues from how to solve the ‘NIMBY’ problem, to ‘Intelligent Design’. He hopes to finish his much-delayed Living With Markets this year – a volume which will inter alia, discuss the supply of blood and kidneys, and possibly also pornography.

No need to book but note that theatre holds 106.

Dinner will follow the lecture (venue tbc). To RSVP for dinner please contact mail@canberraskeptics.org.au

What’s Your opinion?


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5 Responses to
Why We Should be Buying Kidneys from ‘Donors’ from Poor Countries
sumarai 11:42 am 10 Jan 11

I think the government prefers the status quo. They will never implement the Spanish model but it is generally accepted that the Spanish model is the best approach.

I cant see Dr. Jeremy Shearmur argument to ever be taken seriously but I think its good to have these debates even futile ones such as this. the poor need a sustainable solution, selling organs wont get them out of poverty

After 4 long years on dialysis from an onset of nephritis and having maintained a transplant for the last 10 years I hope I can say with some credence that buying kidneys is repulsive .. well to me anyway. Since we are on the subject organ donation. I am happy to share my story for those that care about such a subject
http://womansday.ninemsn.com.au/lifestyle/truelifestories/996321/the-greatest-gift

cleo 1:59 am 10 Jan 11

It would be great if more Australians donated their body organs, god knows he doesn’t need them!

The Traineediplomat 5:51 pm 09 Jan 11

Living in Europe there is a lot of talk about Kosovo, Kidneys and not so willing donors…google it…

astrojax 1:36 pm 09 Jan 11

note the lecture’s date – love and other vital organs… 😉

Morgan 11:02 pm 08 Jan 11

Thoroughly recommend any lecture by Jeremy Shearmur, despite the title of the lecture, he is not a nutter and is quite happy to engage in a rational debate on these kinds of topics.

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