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Did Plasma International strike a fair bargin with the West Africans who supplied their blood to the company?

What are the contrasting ideals of the British and US blood systems?

 

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Discussion the questions:

1. Is Sol Levin running a business ‘just like any other business’, or is his company open to moral criticism? Defend your answer by appeal to moral principle.

 

2. Did Plasma International strike a fair bargin with the West Africans who supplied their blood to the company? Or is plasma guilty of exploiting them in some way? Explain your answer.

 

3. What are the contrasting ideals of the British and US blood systems? Which system, in your opinion, better promotes human freedom and respect for people? Which system better promotes the supply of blood?

 

4. Examine the pros and cons of commercial transactions in blood from the egoistic, utilitarian and Kantian perspectives.

 

5. Are Titmuss and Singer correct to suggest that buying and selling of blood reduces altruism? Does knowing that you can sell your blood (and that others are selling theirs) make you less inclined to donate your blood?

 

6. Singer suggests that although the right to sell blood does not threaten the formal right to give blood, it is incompatible with ‘the right to give blood, which cannot be bought, which has no cash value, and must be given freely if it is to be obtained at all’. Assess that idea. Is there such a right?

 

7. Many believe that commercialisation is increasing in all areas of modern life. if so, is it something to be applauded or condemned? Is it wrong to treat certain things – such as human organs – as commodities?

 

8. Do you believe that we have a moral duty to donate blood? If so, why and under what circumstances? If not, why not?

 

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