Ownership and Commodifiability of Synthetic and Natural Organs

Abstract

The arrival of synthetic organs may mean we need to reconsider principles of ownership of such items. One possible ownership criterion is the boundary between the organ’s being outside or inside the body. What is outside of my body, even if it is a natural organ made of my cells, may belong to a company or research institution. Yet when it is placed in me, it belongs to me. In the future, we should also keep an eye on how the availability of synthetic organs may change our attitudes toward our own bodies.

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