Kidney problems

April 14, 2006

I was delighted to read Baroness Warnock's review of my book Stakes and Kidneys (April 7). But it is unfortunate that Warnock chose to focus primarily on what she perceived as the style of the book. This might, of course, simply indicate that she has no good arguments against my position.

When she does attempt to criticise my position, she makes serious mistakes. Warnock notes that I argue that the sale of a kidney would not be an "involuntary" action. She claims that my argument is misplaced, as "no one would suggest that" it would be. But some opponents of markets in human transplant kidneys do claim that a sale of a kidney would be involuntary in this way - and it is the arguments of such people that I address at that point.

Warnock also claims that my arguments are based on the view that "freedom to choose has become the highest value and not to inhibit this is the categorical imperative". But in two chapters I outline ways in which a person's freedom to choose should be curtailed to protect her future ability to exercise this freedom. To fail to read or understand one chapter out of nine is misfortunate, but to fail to read or understand two is simply careless.

James Stacey Taylor
The College of New Jersey, US

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Board Member BOURNEMOUTH UNIVERSITY (MAIN OFFICE)

Most Commented

Elderly woman looking up at sky

A recent paper claims that the quality of researchers declines with age. Five senior scientists consider the data and how they’ve contributed through the years

Otto illustration (5 May 2016)

Craig Brandist on the proletarianisation of a profession and how it leads to behaviours that could hobble higher education

Woman tearing up I can't sign

Schools and universities are increasingly looking at how improving personalities can boost social mobility. But in doing so, they may be forced to choose between teaching what is helpful, and what is true, says David Matthews

Eleanor Shakespeare illustration 19 May 2016

Tim Blackman’s vision of higher education for the 21st century is one in which students of varying abilities learn successfully together

James Minchall illustration (12 May 2016)

An online experiment proves that part of the bill for complying with the Freedom of Information Act is self-inflicted, says Louis Goddard