„I WILL BUY A LIVING EYE”. REFLECTIONS ON ETHICS OF TRANSPLANTATION
If my body is my property, then I have a right to use it according to my will: I can sell it, donate it, or destroy it. There is, however, an important difference between a living body and a dead body, which is often ignored in the discussion of transplantation ethics. I claim that my living body is not my property. However, this does not determine property status of my dead body and of all the cells, tissues, organs and body products extracted from my living body. Even if we accept ethics of solidarity and ban all commercial transactions in body parts, we shall still have a problem if it is possible to donate a living human eye. I analyse this question to conclude that although it is possible to maintain biological life in the extirpated eye it will be dead as a human seeing eye. I have to kill part of myself if I am to donate my living healthy eye. It explains our repulsion against donating or selling living eyes. Although transplantation medicine saves many lives, I think that in the long run it may bring more harm than benefit.