Bloody Bioethics : Why Prohibiting Plasma Compensation Harms Patients and Wrongs Donors book cover
1st Edition

Bloody Bioethics
Why Prohibiting Plasma Compensation Harms Patients and Wrongs Donors

ISBN 9781032203867
Published March 11, 2022 by Routledge
204 Pages

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Book Description

This is the first book to argue in favor of paying people for their blood plasma. It does not merely argue that offering compensation to plasma donors is morally permissible. It argues that prohibiting donor compensation is morally wrong—and that it is morally wrong for all of the reasons that are offered against allowing donor compensation.

Opponents of donor compensation claim that it will reduce the amount and quality of plasma obtained, exploit and coerce donors, and undermine social cohesion. James Stacey Taylor argues that empirical evidence demonstrates that compensating plasma donors greatly increases the amount of plasma obtained with no adverse effects on the quality of the pharmaceutical products that are manufactured from it. Prohibiting compensation thus harms patients by reducing their access to the medicines they need. He also argues that it is the prohibition of compensation—not its offer—that exploits donors, fails to respect the moral need to secure a person’s authoritative consent to her treatment, and prevents donors from giving their informed consent to donate. Prohibiting compensation thus not only harms patients but also wrongs donors.

Bloody Bioethics will appeal to researchers, advanced students, and medical professionals interested in bioethics, moral philosophy, and the moral limits of markets.

Table of Contents


1. Compensating Plasma Donors Is Safe and Effective

2. Donor Compensation and Informed Consent

3. Coercion, Force, Autonomy, and Consent

4. Exploitation

5. Donor Exploitation

6. Social Cohesion and Donor Approbation

7. Contamination, Cohesion, and Imagined Community


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James Stacey Taylor is Professor of Philosophy at The College of New Jersey, USA. He is the author of Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics (2012), Practical Autonomy and Bioethics (2009), Stakes and Kidneys: Why Markets in Human Body Parts are Morally Imperative (2005), and Markets with Limits (2022). He is the editor of The Metaphysics and Ethics of Death: New Essays (2013) and Personal Autonomy: New Essays on Personal Autonomy and Its Role in Contemporary Moral Philosophy (2005).


"Overall, Taylor's book is well argued, clearly written, very accessible, and creative . . . [It] will be interesting to anyone who works in the debate about commodification and the ethics of markets, and it will also be interesting to bioethicists who work in sectors where compensation is prohibited for bodily services. Given that the book is not overly technical, it can be read by anyone with basic familiarity with bioethics."

Samuel Director in Bioethics